American farmers still working to get out their remaining soybeans after a weather-plagued harvest season are struggling to figure out what to do with a record crop now their traditionally dominant export market is largely closed.
Usually by this point in the year, 100-car trains filled with North Dakota soybeans would be moving to ports on the West Coast destined for China. This year is different because that leading soybean customer has all but stopped buying American soybeans in response to President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs.
Some farmers are storing unsold beans, hoping prices will improve and markets open. But with farmers already in debt due to high costs but falling net income, economists are warning they could be forced out of business by the export crisis.