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United States : Heitkamp: Trade War Worsens as North Dakota Soybean Farmers Struggle to Secure Storage for Bumper Crop

Oct 11, 2018 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) --

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp released the following statement as reports show that the administrations trade war is continuing to worsen the outlook for North Dakota soybean farmers.

It took North Dakota soybean farmers decades to build relationships and market their product in China, but the trade war threatens to derail that hard work over the course of just one season, Heitkamp said. With zero orders from China which is typically the largest buyer of North Dakota soybeans and a surplus of last years crop still occupying bins and grain elevators, this years crop literally has nowhere to go. Farmers working hard all year toward a payday are instead worrying about how theyll make ends meet. North Dakota farmers are some of the most hardworking people youll ever meet, and I wont sit back silently while theyre being treated like collateral damage in this trade war.

According to a North Dakota State University analysis reported in Agweek, without the trade war with China, soybean prices would be near $13 instead of the current $7 per bushel.

As CNBC reports, farmers are having trouble finding a place for this years crop, as China cancelled contracts for 2017s crop when the trade war began to escalate, leaving the beans occupying grain elevators and bins. Elevators are holding 68 percent more of the previous seasons crop than at this time last year, limiting space available to store the 2018 crop, which hasnt had a single order from China.

Soybeans are particularly hard to store, especially if grain bins are not an option for a farmer. NDSU recently released resources and helpful tips on soybean storage for farmer tackling soybean storage for the first time.

The trade wars impact could have negative consequences for up to five years, according to William Wilson with NDSU. Soybeans are an important part of North Dakotas ag economy. For example:

71 percent of North Dakota Soybeans are Exported to Asia, Primarily China

Total value of North Dakotas 2017 Crop: $2.1 billion

North Dakota is ranked fourth in the nation for the number of soybean acres planted this season according to a September USDA Crop Production Report.

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