Loss of NAFTA Could Cause Rural America Crisis

DANVILLE, IN (Dec. 6, 2017) — The impact of losing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could mean a loss as much as 50 cents per bushel to Indiana corn and soybean farmers, according to Jason Henderson, Director of Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and Associate Dean of Purdue College of Agriculture.

Henderson was the keynote speaker at the Indiana Corn and Soybean Forum sponsored by the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee held on November 30.  This year’s forum focused on the importance of international trade to corn and soybean farmers.
 
“Over the past 100 years, U.S. farm booms have been spurred by export activity,” Henderson said. “With approximately 50 percent of U.S. soybean and 15 percent of U.S. corn production exported, trade disruptions have significant short-term impacts on crop prices and farm profitability.”
 
Dr. Henderson referenced a study recently conducted by Iowa State University finding that a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would cause corn and soybean prices to plummet by up to 50 cents per bushel. That would mean an Indiana farm of 1,000 acres that averages a yield of 160 bushels of corn per acre would lose approximately $80,000 dollars for the next two to four years until the market is able to stabilize again.
 
Dr. Henderson explained that Hoosier corn and soybean farmers would also be significantly impacted by the decrease in pork and other livestock exports to Mexico and Canada, Indiana’s two largest trade partners for meat products.
 
Representatives from US export associations including the U.S. Grains Council, American Soybean Association and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council outlined how significant exports affected farmer’s bottom line.  As more people from around the world are moving into middle class income levels, they eat more meat, eggs and milk, which has a significant impact on feeding animals corn and soybeans.
 
“If we want our operations to continue to be competitive and profitable, we can’t continue to remain silent on issues as important as trade,” said Mike Nichols, ICGA president and farmer from Rockport, Ind. “We need to be proactive and knowledgeable about international trade, understanding how it impacts our farms and how to move forward in a potentially changing global trade environment. We need all our members and fellow farmers to make their voices heard on this issue.”
 
The 2017 Indiana Corn and Soybean Forum was sponsored by Beck’s Hybrids, Asgrow, State Bank of Lizton, Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council.
 
For more information about this topic, this year’s Ag Policy summit or for help contacting your local legislator, please contact ISA and ICGA’s manager of public affairs, Cory Harris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 317-644-2858.
 
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Contact: Hannah Vorsilak,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (317) 644-2791
 
About Indiana Corn Growers Association: The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 9 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide. Learn more at www.incorn.org/icga.
 
About Indiana Soybean Alliance: The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, international marketing, new soybean uses, aquaculture, and research. ISA is led by an elected 24-member farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 800 dues-paying members. For more information, visit www.indianasoybean.com.
 
The Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee as well as the Indiana Corn Growers Association are funded through direct contributions and are not associated with, or funded by, checkoff dollars.
 
Communications not funded by Indiana soybean and corn checkoff dollars.