North Dakota Farmers Brace Themselves for Impending Tariffs
Farmer from Steele County thinks producers might feel the biggest impact of any group from the tariffs
STEELE COUNTY, N.D. — Randy Richards is one of many farmers thinking that times could become hectic for farmers in North Dakota.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25 percent tariff on 106 US products, including soybeans.
“They’re the hardest on agriculture because agriculture is the only we thing that we export a lot of that balances out our trade balance. I mean we are less than two percent of the population. We’re carrying the brunt of any type of trade agreements. It’s not fair. It truly is not fair,” said Richards.
With commodity prices dropping and possible tariffs raising export costs, Richards says it will be much harder for farmers to turn a profit.
“A lot of young farmers that haven’t been in the business for a long time, they have negative working capital. That’s what’s going to show up, yes they have some assets but to get themselves righted, they might have to sell off an asset,” said Richards.
Even though times could be tough for farmers in the next few months, Richards says there still is hope for farmers in North Dakota.
“I live just beyond Hope so I know just what it’s like to live beyond Hope my whole life because I grew up on this farm, and that little town of Hope you can see when you walk out the door and see a water tower that says ‘Hope’ on it. I’ve always had hope that agriculture was going to be here,” said Richards.
That hope extends to the future of family farms.
“Family farms will survive always because we care. That’s the bottom line. We care,” said Richards.
There are seven million acres of land devoted to soybeans in North Dakota.