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home : most recent : tippecanoe December 17, 2018

3/28/2018 9:03:00 AM
Potential Chinese tariff can be a gut punch to West Central Indiana soybean industry

Jeong Park, Journal and Courier Reporter

TIPPECANOE COUNTY — West Central Indiana's soybean industry has suffered a lot since the 2012 drought.

The industry has lost markets as countries look elsewhere for soybeans. With rebounding supply, the soybean prices have dropped by nearly half since 2012. Rising equipment costs and interest rates are adding to the farmers' debt. 

"I know there are some farming operations that are living on a very thin line," said Kevin Underwood, a Tippecanoe County councilman and a long-time soybean farmer. 

More punches may come: China may impose tariffs on U.S. soybean to retaliate against the Trump administration's proposed tariff on Chinese products. 

"Trade war doesn't usually go well for Indiana," Underwood said.

More: Here's how a trade war with China could affect Hoosiers

West Central Indiana, which includes Tippecanoe and nine other counties, produced more than 40 million bushels of soybeans in 2017. The state as a whole produced 320 million bushels, equaling around $4 billion.

But beyond those numbers, soybean plays an important role in Tippecanoe County and West Central Indiana agriculture.

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• Journal and Courier full text

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