LaHood: Weather and Tariffs Causing Farmers Anxiety
PEORIA -- U.S. Representative Darin LaHood said he supports a call from the Illinois Farm Bureau for a statewide disaster declaration for farmers.
The Peoria Republican says two things are causing farmers a lot of anxiety this year: wet weather and tariffs.
“Yes, we support the disaster declaration. And depending on what happens at the federal level moving forward, we look forward to being supportive in doing all we can, particularly for farmers in the southern part of our district, where fields are wet," he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports farmers are lagging far behind average this season, with only 73 percent of corn and 49 percent of soybeans planted. They are usually wrapped up by now.
LaHood said he also supports sixteen billion dollars in aid announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month for farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs levied by other countries on American goods.
The congressman said he has also talked to President Trump and his trade team about the impact tariffs are having on farmers in the 18th Congressional District.
He said while he and many of the farmers in his district support the president's combative trade policy with China, he hopesthe collateral damage on agriculture.
“We have a window here of the next three to six months where we need to resolve that trade dispute with China, because if we lose our market share in China, if we lose those customers, that’s not going to be good for our farmers in the long term," he said.
LaHood noted that 25 percent of soybeans grown in his district are sold to China.