Retaliatory tariffs cost Nebraska farmers

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - According to a new report from the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the retaliatory tariffs imposed by US trade partners
have cut Nebraska farm revenue by nearly a billion dollars.

Leaving farmers with an uneasy feeling about the future.

10/11 NOW spoke with a local farmer who is taking a big hit this year.

But recently, he learned he's not alone and a number of farmers in the state are struggling with a similar problem.

The Senior Economist for the Bureau says it started in June with retaliatory tariffs- the tariffs China and other countries put on soybeans, corn and pork.

"The estimated loss that we came up with for Nebraska producers ranges anywhere from $700 million to just over a billion dollars,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau Senior Economist, Jay Rempe.

Farmer Terry Keebler is feeling the impact of the tariffs first hand.

He says they are going to cost him around $30,000 this year alone due to the drop in price of corn and soybeans.

"We had all of the same expenses, putting the crop in the ground and we're just not getting what we expected that we would this fall,” said Farmer, Terry Keebler.

Keebler says that he can't even think about replacing or repairing any of his machinery due to lost profits.

Making things even more difficult moving forward.

"It's a lot of money and it trying to repay the operating expenses from a bank loan,” said Keebler.

But this also impacts people working outside of agriculture.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau also estimates the tariffs will cost Nebraska 4,000-6,000 jobs.

"I think the longer that this goes on, this just shows the impact it could have for our economy,” said Rempe.

For now, Keebler says he is trying to wait it out- hoping the price of his crops will go up again.

"Looking forward, its going to be difficult to figure out what crops to grow to make money,” said Keebler.

The Senior Economist for the Nebraska Farm Bureau says the United States and China have recently announced they will be trying to go forward and resolve issues, giving him hope for the future of Nebraska farmers.