Soybean Prices Fall, Farmers Hope They've Bottomed Out

Jul 12, 2018

Farmers are entering their 5th year of low crop prices ... and now soybeans have reached a 10-year low, in part due to Chinese tariffs.

Economists say this could be a pivotal year for Illinois farmers.

Farmers have been able to manage low prices because of unusually high soybean yields. But projections suggest those are returning to average. On top of that, China, the world’s largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, has imposed a 25 percent tariff … and Brazil experienced a bumper crop.

All that could spell bad news for American farmers, according to Illinois Farm Bureau senior economist Mike Doherty.

“In two words: not good. I think it’s going to be a real struggle for a lot of our farmers this year. We didn’t have that much room to maneuver in terms of net farm income. I expect this to be a tipping point for some number of the farmers and we just don’t know which ones yet.”

There’s been a slight uptick in the number of bankruptcy filings by family farmers … and Doherty says that could increase this fall.