Big Iron Brings Ag Leaders and Policy Makers Together to Discuss the Effects of the Farm Bill and Trade

Many saying there is not one order for soybeans this year giving them no destination to move their harvested crops

WEST FARGO, N.D. — The largest farm show in the upper Midwest is bringing hundreds from across the region and around the world to West Fargo.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how the farm bill and trade are affecting agricultural business and the products being harvested this fall.

As they check out some of the new machinery, farmers and ranchers express their love for the job.

“What can I make more efficient and you know help the farm out in any way I can? It’s just nice. There are so many aspects in farming that you can improve on so it’s really never ending,” said Ethan Johnson, a farmer.

But parts of their excitement turn to worry as they discuss the future of farming.

“Yeah we don’t know with that trade war with China, I mean hopefully wheat and soybeans will come back up but I don’t know we’re just hoping for a reality right now I guess,” Johnson said.

Many saying there is not one order for soybeans this year giving them no destination to move their harvested crops.

“Where does it go for example if China is not taking soybeans? So the immediate issue for them is how do they market that product for this year?” said North Dakota Republican Senator, John Hoeven.

“They’re very, very concerned about what this means for next year’s market” said North Dakota Democratic Senator, Heidi Heitkamp.

Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp spoke about three key topics at this year’s Big Iron.

“The trade A package, the farm bill and what the status of the farm bill is, and then looking forward on what’s going to happen with tariffs and trade,” Heitkamp said.

Republican Senator John Hoeven is trying to get NAFTA into place this fall while also trying to get Canada on board.

“Those things all put more pressure on China but each step helps our producers, puts pressure on China and again its part of trying to get these trade deals done as soon as we can,” Hoeven said.

USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey learned about the success happening in the state.

“But also for him to hear directly from our producers on where they need help,” Hoeven said.

But there are many unanswered questions.

“Their biggest concern is marketing their product. Their biggest concern is making the operating loans. The biggest concern is what happens to the kids that they encourage to come back to the farm. What happens long term to their markets?” Heitkamp questioned.

The fix won’t happen overnight, but both senators say the quicker they can make change on a national level, the better it will be for farmers and ranchers on the state level.

The Big Iron Farm Show is happening tomorrow from 9 am to 5 pm and Thursday from 9 pm to 4 pm.

Categories: Agriculture, Business, Community, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections