Elkmont Farmer says tariffs are a problem he can manage

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ELKMONT, Ala. – A Limestone County farm family says they’ve been feeling the effects of tariffs, but things aren’t as bad as they could be.

“The tariffs right now are a big hot item right now. Between the American Soybean Association, as well as the National Corn Growers,” said Jessie Hobbs.

Hobbs, who has farmed wheat, corn and soybeans to name a few, said tariffs are just a part of the business, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome.

“Essentially what it’s doing is it’s putting a burden on the commodities that we grow,” he explained.

Hobbs says recently his family farm has taken a slight hit on corn profits, but he’s thankful those numbers have leveled out.

“That affects your bottom line,” Hobbs said. “If you think you can make one hundred bushels, at four dollars, that’s a guarantee of four hundred dollars an acre. Well if you take that hundred bushels and you’re only getting three fifty.”

In regards to the current trade war, Hobbs said he’s trying to remain optimistic.

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, spoke up for Alabama’s farmers last week.

“Now the last thing that these farmers need is additional Chinese tariffs on their crops,” Jones said. “They’re losing markets. They’re losing profits.”

Hobbs said trade with China should be under fair terms.

“If we’re having to pay to send our products over there, I think they need to do the same,” he said. “It needs to be on an even playing field.”

Jones said farmers in this state don’t want a federal bailout. But Hobbs says it’s not just about politics — having more agencies involved simply creates extra work on top of what is already required of farmers.

“You get so many different opinions, so many different sets of eyes, and sometimes you know we have enough between the EPA, the FDA and all these regulations that we have to qualify and go through right now,” he said. “We don’t need any more.”


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