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Trade war between the U.S. and China brings uncertainty to farmers

Posted: 8:08 PM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 21:08:21-04

While the trade war continues between China and the U.S., one Evangeline Parish farmer says the feud brings uncertainty on his crop.

Soybean farmer, Richard Fontenot says he has about 600 acres worth of soybeans, that have yet to be planted.

“We’re in a planting delay schedule,” Fontenot said. “We’re about 4 weeks behind normal planting dates. That in itself has a decrease in yield. It’s decreased in price, and yield because delayed planting season.”

That’s because a rainy harvest has damaged some of the crops. However, there’s one more reason why it’s been hard for some farmers to make ends meet.

Last week the U.S. increased tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on more than 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods.

China striking back by putting tariffs on U.S. imports like soybeans, which worries farmers like Fontenot.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the market. As these tariffs agreements go in place and as these trade talks continue, with no uncertainty, it puts additional pressure on the market. As a producer, it’s very difficult to go out into a crop and put it in the ground. Not sure on where you will sell it at the end of the year. That uncertainty puts a financial risk. ”

Fontenot says while farmers are caught the crosshairs of the feud. He hopes the outcome could bring change.

“These tariffs are being used to create a good trade deal,” Fontenot said. “China has not been a very fair trading partner with us over the years.”

He added, “As this administration moves forward trying to get equitable fair trade balance it’s crucial. I’m a fourth generation operation. I have a young man that’s 12-years-old. If there’s an opportunity to come in at any point in time, I’d like that opportunity for him to be there. Without good trade practices, balances, partners that are fair balanced and accountable we won’t be able to sustain agriculture for generations to come.”

The trade war also impacting consumers. KATC’s Kendria LaFleur will have more tonight at 10:00 pm.