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Growers talk tariffs, Farm Bill during Donnelly visit

Local farmers say they are worried about falling soybean prices. It was an issue they discussed with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly during a visit Monday.

Posted: Jul. 2, 2018 10:54 PM
Updated: Jul. 2, 2018 10:54 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Local farmers say they are worried about falling soybean prices. It was an issue they discussed with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly during a visit Monday.

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Senator Donnelly toured Miklozek Farm in southern Vigo County and spoke with area growers, members of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Growers Association while pushing the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill.  

The Farm Bill sets eating and farming policy for five years. Current law expires September 30th.

Frank Miklozek operates a thirteen hundred acre farm and says the twenty percent drop in soybean prices has him worried.

President Donald Trump instituted new trade tariffs on countries like Canada and China. As a result, China is expected to impose tariffs on soybean imports.

Miklozek says, "A lot of people are talking about it. We will notice that impact more in the fall, but a lot of people are talking about it. It's really fresh in their mind and it doesn't look good but hopefully, we can get through this."

Senator Donnelly says, "Farmers are in a tough spot right now. They have seen prices drop dramatically because of the trade war that is going on."

Donnelly says work must be done to ensure "farmers don't suffer." He wants to see the "tariff battle" ended so prices can go back up.

Meanwhile, he is promoting the Senate version of the Farm Bill. The $428 billion plan passed with republican and democrat support last week. The House version of the bill passed without democrat support and includes changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Under the House plan, able-bodied adults, without children under age six, would have to work at least twenty hours a week to get food assistance.

Donnelly says it's an issue that will have to get worked out but he is hopeful an agreement can be reached.

The democrat wrote several provisions for the bill including one to improve internet as well as water and waste infrastructure to attract new business to rural areas. He wrote another to ensure farmers can grow what they want and more dealing with the opioid epidemic and food insecurity.

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