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State Ag Secretary Says Farmers Patient for Now While Tariffs Are Imposed

IPR/Pat Blank

Although much of the talk in the state’s agriculture sector centers on trade tariffs between the U.S and China, stalled negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA are also causing concern.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says dairy farmers are continuing to struggle. 

"We need to make sure we’ve got markets for those products whether that be domestic use or international trade as well,”  Naig said.   “I know there’s been some challenges with Canada in particular that’s what’s rolled up into that negotiation and maybe that’s part of what’s holding that up.” 

Naig says many of the state’s farmers are trying to be patient as the so-called “trade war” with China plays out, but if it lingers, the sense of urgency will increase. He says pork, beef, soybean and corn farmers are all feeling the pressure.

Naig is on a multi-county swing through the state and stopped by Unverferth Manufacturing in rural Shell Rock Wednesday. The company employs 250 and makes grain carts. The implement is used to hold corn in the field during harvest until it can be hauled away by trucks.

Pat Blank is the host of All Things Considered