Middle Tennessee farmers are keeping a close watch on a potential trade war with China, and some are concerned about how it could impact their bottom line.
The Trump administration announced $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods for so-called “unfair trade practices” and China responded by threatening $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. products, including soybeans.
The crop is common throughout Tennessee. Two thousand acres of soybeans are already planted at Jepson Family Farms in Orlinda. Willis Jepson said there are tens of thousands of acres of the crop throughout Robertson County.
Jepson said fear of a possible trade war has already caused soybean prices to drop.
“Anytime commodity markets go down, that impacts the local economy and state economy, as well,” said Jepson. “It could mean a loss of $50 an acre or more on our soybeans.”
Jepson said since the crop has already been planted, there isn’t much he can do but wait and hope for the best.
“I’m hopeful that clearer heads can come together and come to a conclusion and we don’t get into a full-fledge trade war,” said Jepson.
Soybeans are used to produce items ranging from car parts, to crayons and ink.
The Chinese tariffs on soybeans are scheduled to begin July 6.