Local farmers like him are finally back in the fields. The looming concern? China.


Better weather has allowed Ohio farmers to get back into the fields after a slow start to the season, but concerns about China loom as work continues.

China has threatened tariffs on various exported U.S. products following the Trump administration’s decision to add tariffs to Chinese steel and aluminum imported into the country.

RELATED : ‘I sit here a little worried’: Clark County farmer one of many concerned

Adding to the concerns are possible China tariffs on soybeans exported from the United States. China is the No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans, one of the top-produced crops by Ohio farmers. Ohio is the ninth-highest soybean-producing state.

No action has been taken by China on the soybean tariffs, but the threat has caused soybean prices to drop.

This comes after a late start to planting various crops in the Miami Valley because of cold and soggy April weather, said Darin Leach, executive director of the Logan and Champaign Counties Farm Service Agency.

“April was a little slow on getting started, but the weather finally broke and guys are getting into fields and starting to get some things planted,” Leach said.

Farmers in the area mostly plant soybeans and corn. Logan County has planted 30 percent of its corn, and Champaign County has completed 50 percent. The two counties together have planted about 10 percent of soybeans.

A large part of that is due to the weather, and Brian Harbage and his farm staff are making the most of it now. He and others had to wait until the soil warmed up to plant. He works with corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle. He was out planting corn Tuesday.

Harbage likes to get started sometime in the beginning of April if possible, but a break in past couple of weeks has allowed farmers to catch up on the late start. A strong growing season is still very possible, he said.

He and other farmers are worried about the proposed soybean tariffs because of how much of the crop is grown in Ohio.

“When you look at a field … the third row, of every row of soybeans, goes to China,” Harbage said.

The United States Department of Agriculture forecast earlier this month notes that soybean planting in 2018 would exceed corn planting for the first time in 35 years. Soybeans will cover 89 million acres this year, compared to 88 million acres for corn, the USDA said.

Plantings for both crops will decline from a year ago, the forecast said. The government’s spring wheat estimate topped all forecasts, with an expected 12.6 million acres, up 15 percent from last year. Last year, U.S. farmers planted 90.2 million acres of corn and 90.1 million acres of soybeans.

If a tariff is imposed, it would have a domino effect in rural communities, Harbage said.

“When the commodity prices go down, its going to affect what framers … can pay, for land rent or to buy new machinery, or it will even affect the consumers,” Harbage said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

You’ve got to see these landmarks created from plastic bricks
You’ve got to see these landmarks created from plastic bricks

This weekend, the Chicago skyline, New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and the Eiffel Tower will fill the Dayton Convention Center.  The BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention will be held for the first time in Dayton Aug. 18 and 19.  Professional LEGO artists Jonathan Lopes of San Diego, California, Rocco Buttliere of Chicago and Paul Hetherington...
Resource officers on duty full time at Clark, Champaign county schools
Resource officers on duty full time at Clark, Champaign county schools

There will be school resource officers present every day at four Clark County districts beginning on the first day of classes as part of a pilot program with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Tecumseh Local was one of the first districts to take part in a tentative agreement with the sheriff’s office back in May. EARLIER: Tecumseh, Clark...
Parliament car crash: Salih Khater named as suspect in possible terror attack, reports say
Parliament car crash: Salih Khater named as suspect in possible terror attack, reports say

A man arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses in connection with a Tuesday morning car crash outside the Houses of Parliament in London has been identified as Salih Khater, British media outlets are reporting. Update 5:45 a.m. EDT Aug. 15: More details are emerging about the man accused of driving a car through security barriers and injuring pedestrians...
Italian bridge collapse: 37 killed when raised highway gives way in Genoa
Italian bridge collapse: 37 killed when raised highway gives way in Genoa

At least 37 people were killed Tuesday when part of the a highway bridge collapsed in northwestern Italy, officials said. Update 5:27 a.m. EDT Aug. 15: The death toll in Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Genoa has climbed to 37, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Update 3:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 15: The death toll in Tuesday’s bridge...
Naked man breaks into liquor store, steals can of soda, police say
Naked man breaks into liquor store, steals can of soda, police say

A Georgia business owner expressed surprise after police said a naked man broke into his liquor store and only helped himself to a soda. Police said the man used a hammer to break into the Forsyth County liquor store earlier this week. "The surveillance video shows it all. Police say the only thing the accused burglar tried to take was...
More Stories