HANCOCK CO., Iowa - New tariffs on agricultural goods heading to China have many farmers in our area worried.
Wilma Kmop is one of them. Kmop lives on a century farm where her and her husband farmed 150 acres of land.
“We had cows, cattle, chickens, a little bit of everything,” she said.
But she says farming is changing as the prices of crops continue to drop. But now she is worried about young farmers not being able to afford rent on her land.
“If my renters can’t pay rent because of the decrease they can’t sell their crops. If they can’t do that they won’t be able to have a go at it,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to charge them rent because I don’t want them to starve.”
Congressman Steve King says he has brought the issue up to President Trump a number of times and is worried this could lead to a trade war, hurting the Iowa economy as bad as the farm crisis in the 80’s.
“I certainly lived through the 80’s and I paid 22 percent interest, and I know what happened in these communities for that period of time,” Congressman Kings said. “The children that grew up in that bad economic time in the farm crisis decade of the 80’s, many of them moved out of Iowa and never came back.”
While King is still fighting to have these tariffs eased, he said there could be a silver lining after the South Korean government gave the President an invitation to meet with the North Korea leader, Kim Jung Un.
“Perhaps we’ll look back on this in 10 years and see that this was the start of the negotiations of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” Congressman King said. “That’s the best result that I could see come out of all of this.”
While we are still learning what these changes will mean to Iowa’s economy and farmers, Kmop worries about the future if these tariffs don’t change.
“It will affect the sale of our corn, soybeans, hogs, those are three things that are very prominent in Iowa,” Kmop said.
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