Local farmers worried about soybean tariffs

Published: Apr. 5, 2018 at 8:13 PM EDT
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China is proposing more potential tariffs on U.S. goods, including soybeans and tobacco, which could greatly impact eastern Carolina farmers.

Onslow County soybean farmer Andy Weston is concerned, saying, "It affects your bottom line right to start with. You've got an input cost you don't have much control over and now it's kind of a set price, and any time you go below that price you're in the red."

And that concern is not only from those in the field, but also from those up in Raleigh.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says, "Our number one trading partner in ag in North Carolina is China. This amounts to about $598 million. That's 20% of the ag exports we do in North Carolina.

The market has already impacted Weston's crop. He says a 40 cent market drop makes the soybean market value drop to right at $9.00 a bushel.

According to the USDA, North Carolina ranks only 15th in the country for soybean production. Still, the concern is mounting for farmers because other areas where we are industry leaders, such as the swine industry -- China has said they plan to add tariffs as well.