Anticipating higher-than-average grain yields this fall, state officials are predicting storage problems partly due to international tariffs.
Because of low prices and the Trump administration's trade war with China and other countries, some grain from last year remains unsold and is taking up storage space, said Jordan Seger, Indiana State Department of Agriculture deputy director.
“Some of the discussion has been, one of the reasons for those low prices right now is just some of the trade and tariff discussions that are going on at a national and international level,” he said. “And obviously low prices affect when a farmer wants to sell his or her grain. So, it's all kind of interrelated.”
Because of the possible storage crunch as the fall crop is harvested, the state announced last week that licensed facilities – farmers, grain elevators and others – can apply to store grain outside on asphalt or concrete slabs in covered piles if grain bins fill up.
While the state expects highewr-than-normal yields, local officials say it's too early in the harvest to say how northeast Indiana farmers will fare.
The Trump administration announced in July that it would provide $12 billion in emergency relief to farmers affected by the trade disputes.