Ernst talks trade, tariffs and renewables

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst talked to state and local ag leaders during a 60-minute roundtable discussion at the Humboldt County Extension and Outreach office on Friday, Aug. 23. Read the full story in this week's Humboldt Independent. Humboldt Independent photo.

When campaigning in Iowa in 2016, Donald Trump’s message played well among Iowa farmers.
In 2019, Trump’s policies are beginning to wear a little thin, even among those who consider themselves pretty staunch Republicans.
On Friday, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) visited Humboldt to get an indication from local and state farm leaders about the status in the heartland and what producers are dealing with as trade wars continue, fuel exemptions dry up markets and commodity prices continue to plummet.
“The renewable fuel standard mandates have been put off or delayed or retroactive, so we’ve lost market there for corn and beans, and now with the waivers, it defeats the purpose of the president coming out and saying we are going to promote E-15 (15 percent ethanol blend) year round. That’s pretty frustrating,” Lindsay Greiner, a Keota farmer and president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said. “We sent a pretty strong letter to the president about it.”
Greiner said the last 18 months have been really tough in Iowa agriculture, especially for young and beginning farmers. “If my 29-year-old son who farms with me was on his own, I don’t think he’d be farming next year. The market facilitation programs have been a help, but all farmers would rather have markets than government subsidies.”
“We can’t determine what China will do, but the renewable fuels standard requirements and the small refinery exemptions are things that we are doing domestically that we can control,” Humboldt farmer Brent Kuehnast said.
“Our grain isn’t going anywhere, we can’t sell it to the ethanol plant, we can’t sell it overseas. There needs to be a much more concerted effort to create domestic demand to use this stuff up," he said.

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