Soybean tariff hits local farmers hard

PERRYSBURG, OH (WTOL) - It's a decision that's hitting the Midwest and farmers hard right now.

Prices for soybeans have been plummeting. Local farmers are some of the collateral damage in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

"It scares me a lot," explained Nathan Eckel, owner of Eckel Grain Farms.

Eckle is a fifth-generation farmer growing several crops, but mostly soybeans, about 1,200 acres of soybeans. Those soybeans though are threatening his livelihood because of China's tariff.

"Just in the last month it's roughly a $200 an acre revenue loss," said Eckel.

Just this week the cost for a bushel of soybeans d ropped 30 cents and two dollars in the past month.

"It means lost revenue," explained Nathan Eckel. "It means how do I still support my family, the people in that house over there and how do we continue to farm for the next year?"

Nathan owns just one of the farms impacted. Ohio is actually the US' 6th leading producer of soybeans and 60 percent of what's grown here, is exported.

"1 in every 3 of these rows is going to China," described Eckel looking out at his Perrysburg field.

While farmer's don't know what the future holds with the tariff they said the impact could spill over.

"We're feeling the effect upfront," said Nathan Eckel, a Perrysburg farmer. "But eventually if this trade war continues I think it will have a lasting effect on the entire community."

For now Nathan said they will make some changes on their farm, tighten up their spending and they have plans to plant fewer soy beans in the future.

"It trickles down throughout this whole community; the whole community is a tight-knit community," explained Eckel. "It's driven on agriculture here."

He said farmers are resilient and will make it through, but he hopes that a resolution is on the horizon.

"It is in the best interest of everybody in Ohio to get these tariff's and come to a trade agreement as soon as we can," explained Eckel.

With little control on his own, Eckel hopes the agricultural community will come together to speak out and reach a common goal.

"I would hope that cooler heads will prevail and that for the benefit of the whole, we could come to some sort of an agreement so that everybody can move on," added Eckel.

Eckel Grain Farms will harvest their crops in the fall and hope prices will be on the rise, but are bracing for what could be a bleak future.

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