Illinois farmers face uncertainty despite record harvests
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois farmers are hoping tensions between the U.S. and its trade partners dissipate after record-yielding harvests this year.
The State Journal-Register reports Illinois produced the most soybeans of any state in the country while ranking second in corn production.
But Illinois farmers have been significantly affected by President Donald Trump’s tougher stance on trade and retaliatory tariffs from China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other key trade partners.
In 2017 China accounted for one-quarter of Illinois’ agricultural exports, including $1.75 billion in soybeans and over $500 million in corn.
With China not buying this year, many farmers had to store excess crops for winter and hope the tariff situation is resolved.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the emerging trade war threatens $6.7 billion of Illinois exports.