Indiana farmers express concerns about tariff attacks


DANVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – People across the nation are bracing for a possible trade war with some of the world’s biggest powers.

In fact, many farmers across Indiana are closely watching the news to see what happens.

Farming is the lifeblood of David Hardin and his family. They’ve done for decades in Danville, in the county west of Indianapolis. 

“My father and I raise about 12,000 head of market hogs every year,” Hardin said. “We also raise food-grade corn and soybeans.”

The growing number of tariffs and the possible impacts are on his mind.

“It’s a very unsettled feeling right now.” Hardin said. “So much of what U.S. and Indiana farmers produce is exported around the world.”

Hardin said he and his family have not even broken even yet so far this year, which means they’re losing money. He said that is because of tariffs slapped on U.S. pork. He’s worried his corn and soybeans could be next.

“We’re definitely losing money on pork,” he said. “For the last three years, corn and soybean production has been below break-even. We were actually looking forward to 2018 being a bright-spot year where we were going to see that trend start to change.”

Farmers are searching for that bright-spot this year, said Randy Kron, the Indiana Farm Bureau president, during an agriculture policy conference in Indianapolis on Tuesday. 

Kron said, “Our members are getting really concerned. If you look at the past 10 days, two weeks, the grain markets have taken a pretty big hit.”

Indiana’s Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said Tuesday she and Governor Eric Holcomb travel to countries that the nation trades with to champion Hoosier farmers despite the proposed tariffs.

Crouch said, “We’re not gonna wait to see what happens at the federal level. We’re going to continue to work and promote Indiana agriculture.”

Back on the farm, Hardin said he’s trying to stay optimistic.

“Hopefully, we’re going to try and weather this storm.” 

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