FARM FEATURE ARTICLES
Ongoing tariffs on Chinese goods shock US corn and soybean prices.
As summer winds down and comes to a close in the Hudson Valley, so too does the growing season for many area farmers. With the all-too crucial fall harvest just around the corner, farmers across the region have good reason to keep their eyes on the prices of agricultural commodities nationwide. On Monday, August 12, the US Department of Agriculture released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE) revealing a decline in the price of most agricultural commodities stateside. For many of the country’s economists, it’s the current tariff and trade war between China and the US that has resulted in the current shortage of demand in corn and soybean products. According to a report from seekingaplha.com, “The US is the world’s leading producer and exporter of corn and soybeans and a significant exporter of wheat around the globe. China is a nation with the second-leading GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the most mouths to feed. With 1.4 billion people, China is a significant part of the demand side of the equation for agricultural commodities, and the trade war has caused the Asian nation to retaliate against US producers.” Though the drop in prices across the board may feel nice on the consumer’s wallet, it often means farmers’ incomes are in danger of dropping when there is too much supply.
Could this drop in commodity price affect farming in the Hudson Valley?
Perhaps not, in part because New York’s agricultural income is primarily dependent on livestock and what they produce, namely milk, for which New York is the third largest producer in the nation. As the leading fruit and vegetable producer along the eastern seaboard, New York’s agricultural economy also relies on consumables like apples to drive state income. Even still, as the latest WASDE report shows, foreign trade wars over agricultural commodities are always capable of posing a threat to domestic products. This is where organizations like the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) come in, with a mission to enhance agricultural development through helpful financial solutions. Initiatives like Incubator Without Walls offer comprehensive business planning, grant writing, and land access in order to ensure the economic sustainability of local farms despite volatile market fluctuations. Though the trade war with China hasn’t made its way east with its agricultural impact, local farmers are keenly aware of economic uncertainties, but with the help of sustainability organizations, they can take comfort in the fact that support is never far away.
For more information on the latest WASDE report, visit usda.gov, and to check out more on HVADC, visit hvadc.org for more info.