Recent rains and tariffs impacting local soybean and cotton farmers

Recent rains and tariffs impacting local soybean and cotton farmers

The recent rain has washed away the Severe and Extreme drought conditions across the area.

Since September 1, 10.97″ of rain has been recorded at the Shreveport Regional Airport. However, the rain could not have come at a worse time for local cotton and soybean farmers.

“The rains through September kept us out of the fields. We were only about to harvest 7 days out of the month of September, which is not good," said Ryan Kirby from Kirby Farms.

(KSLA News 12)

“The rains hurt the quality of the cotton. It can knock some of it on the ground... We lose yield and the quality so we don’t get paid as much for it," he said.

(KSLA News 12)

Kirby said the recent rain also impacted his soybean crop.

“They partially rotted in the field. The seed will begin to sprout [then the rain will make them] swell up and then they will shrink back down. They will do that again as all these rains come through and it damages the seed.” said Kirby.

(KSLA News 12)

Kirby says this year has been especially tough.

He says this year’s poor soybean crop and the new tariffs implemented by President Trump’s administration has changed the way his elevators do business.

“Because of the Trump tariff’s and this damaged crop, the elevators are really changing the way they do business. It used to be we may get discounted about 30 cents a bushel for 6 percent damage. Now they are going to discount us a $1.30 for that same 6 percent damage and reject the beans over 8 percent,” said Kirby.

Kirby said he was unable to sell his soybeans to one of his major elevators because they would not except soybeans damaged over 8 percent.

“The tariffs have hurt the demand for soybeans. We get a notification from one of our major elevators that we ship to the users or the buyers that they don’t want soybeans over 3 percent damage. They basically want perfect soybeans and they are not accepting soybeans over a certain threshold. With the rain we have had we are way over that threshold. Not only do we have a damaged crop... we can’t sell it because they are not accepting beans over 8 percent damaged.” said Kirby.

Kirby had to sells his soybeans to a different elevator at 20 percent damage.

The image below shows the difference between a good soybean crop and Kirby’s crop this year.

(Ryan Kirby, Kirby Farms)

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