Local Farmers Take A Hit Financially As Soybean Prices Continue To Drop In Trade War Between The U.S. And China

ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Soybeans are a cash crop for Arkansas farmers. But in the wake of a new trade war between their largest consumer China,  farmers and agriculture economist are projecting millions of dollars lost in revenue this season.

Farmer and Soybean Board President A.J. Hood said, "Agriculture is a major part of Arkansas economy and the national economy."

In March, President Donald Trump announced billions in tariffs on Chinese goods. In retaliation, China placed tariffs on several goods, including soybeans.

According to Hood, in 2017 China bought more than half of the soybean crops harvested in the U.S. Arkansas was responsible for 3.5 million acres of that harvest. Without their business, economist expect a revenue loss for farmers of $230-250 million.

This is leaving several farmers across the U.S. and here in Arkansas in a panic, but hopeful.

"I do think some of the other countries will pick up some of our exports but they can't pick-up the mass quantities that China's been picking up." said Hood.

The ongoing trade war could potentially affect other crops in the state. There is a projected loss of roughly $500 million.

"We really don't know where the bottom is, but definitely even at this level of prices, many farmers will have big struggles to make a profit this year for sure," said University of Arkansas Agriculture Professor Alvaro Durand Morat.