Farmers Worried About Ongoing Trade War

Arkansas Row Crops

Weather problems and a crippling trade war with China had significant impacts on farmers’ profit margins, and heading into 2019 producers are concerned about profitability, according to an informal survey conducted by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

The same intermittent wet weather conditions that caused the 2018 harvest to drag on interminably bled from fall into winter, and prevented most growers from completing — or often, even starting — field preparation in January, including fertilization, tillage and leveling. Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that in and of itself will add to growers’ expenses.

“Growers are thinking about everything they have to do, that they couldn’t do last fall,” Stiles said. “There will be a much narrower window to get fields in shape this year, and it’s going to be costly. It’s going to mean more trips across the field, more diesel burned. We didn’t apply fall fertilizer, we didn’t do fall tillage. We really need an opportunity to do some fieldwork this month.”     MORE

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