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International Trade Disputes Weighing on Iowa Farmers

As trade conflicts between the U.S. and China escalate, and new trade tensions arise between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada, Iowa’s farmers are uneasy about the future.

These trade disputes represent tensions between the U.S. and three of the top four trading countries for Iowa, according to federal data. Iowa is the top U.S. state for pork production and the second biggest for soybeans. Since April, the state’s hog farmers have been under pressure from low prices after China imposed a 25 percent tax on U.S. pork imports, and the situation has only progressed after the U.S. enacted tariffs on $34 billion in imported Chinese goods.

Bill Shipley, the president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said that if these disputes continue into the long-term, it could be devastating for the state’s soybean farmers, who are already seeing prices of $7.79 per bushel -- notably lower than their breakeven point of $9.

Compounding these concerns is the fact that it appears this year will see a bumper crop of soybeans.

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