Every morning at 7:30 AM they meet at the Hardees in Winterset, Iowa. For years, the same group of farmers ranging in age from the 60’s up to 80 years of age meet for coffee and discuss the day’s topics. Most are Veterans as evidenced by the ballcaps they wear. Some say ‘Korean Vet and some proudly claim Vietnam’ as the war they served.
This morning, I happened to be driving home for a Doctors appointment and stopped in to grab some breakfast. As I sat down at a table near the group, I could not help but overhear some of the comments. One of the older gentlemen who appeared to be around 75-years of age was voicing his opinion on President Trump. The exact quote was; “I have voted Democrat my entire life until Trump ran. For the first time in nearly 60-years, I voted Republican, and it will be the last time“. A few others seconded his thoughts, while another chimed in about the recent tariff’s the President signed into law.
At this point, I could no longer restrain myself and had to introduce myself as a hybrid reporter (somewhere between a political pundit, reporter/blogger). All the men were very gracious, and I began asking questions as to the situation they were facing. This article in today’s Wall Street Journal lays out the case very well. I will quote exactly what these dozen or so Iowa farmers told me.
My question was simple. If I own 1000 acres of corn, what will these tariff’s do to me personally?
One of the gentlemen chimed in; Last years yield prices were $4 a bushel. The current price is around $3 because of the massive surpluses expected. By the time harvest rolls around, he assumed the rate to be about $2.50 a bushel. Each acre will produce approximately 200 bushels. At $3 a bushel, that will mean a revenue decline of over $200.000 this year assuming you farm 1000-acres. Expect Iowa to lose a lot of corn farmers this year!
I was told that soy-bean farmers wouldn’t have it quite as bad, nor will winter wheat and some other crops. One of the older gentlemen said to me that pork producers would end up losing substantially along with beans and several more farm producing crops.
Most disagreed as to how bad it would be, but they all agreed, the President didn’t think this through very clearly, and none would be voting for him in 2020 if he ran again.