Heartland farmer reacts to flooding, trade war

Farmer affected by flooding, trade war

NEW MADRID COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - Amid an escalating trade war, China announced it will not buy anymore agriculture products from the United States.

The move is another blow to Heartland farmers who are also dealing with flood water covering their fields.

Mark Baker of New Madrid County predominately farms soybeans and expects to lose money this growing season.

He admits the trade war has another factor adding to his problems but says the effects of the long drawn out flood year have been much worse.

“This is how beans should look on June the 8th. Not August the 8th. We’re two months behind,” Baker said as he points out to one of the last field’s he planted this year.

Baker says river flooding and constant rain prevented him from using most of his farm land outside the levee.

“The USDA Farm Service Agency said in the paper that there were 40,000 acres not planted of soybeans not planted in New Madrid County,” he said.

Baker worries the 800 acres of soybeans he has in the ground will not bring a good price now that China has stopped buying American crops.

“I think I’m going to lose money this year regardless of how the crops do," Baker said. “But I don’t know that for a fact. We’ll see what the bean market does from now until harvest. Farming is probably the biggest gamble anybody could ever take. Everything you do is a gamble.”

Even with the trade war adding on to Baker’s losses during this bad flood year, he still supports the President Trump’s efforts to fight with China to level the playing field.

“I think his heart’s in the right place and I’ll do my part with whatever comes my way to withstand this," Baker said. "If we don’t do something to stop this imbalance of trade our whole country is going to feel it at some point in the future. I don’t know how far that is away but you just can’t operate at a deficit to another country forever and expect nothing to happen.”

Some bailout money is also coming Baker’s way.

Farmers in New Madrid county will receive $121 dollar acre of planted crop and Baker hopes it will give them a boost for next growing season.

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