I was buying gas the other day and while standing by the pump, I was reading the information posted on the dispenser pump display screen. I always notice the amount of ethanol I am buying. That day it was 10% of each gallon I purchased. I live in a community surrounded by corn fields. I remember the days when corn grew in rows. Today the fields are massed with stalks … rows no more. Corn is an issue in SE Minnesota. Close to 20% of the corn grown in the US is exported. That’s why a ‘tariff’ on corn is problematic for Minnesota farmers.
Like our President I know nothing about corn. Oh, some would say our President knows a lot about corn. Just listen to him talk. Here are a few facts ‘gleaned’ from the internet. Forty percent of the US corn crop produces fuel. Thirty-six percent is animal feed. (Think meat). Twenty percent is exported to China. Much of the Chinese export is returned to the world in 1000s of products like hemorrhoid cream, wax for apples and tea bags. Don’t think that the remaining percentage isn’t important. Just look at food labels and you will see that corn derivatives are in many of our food products … especially corn syrup.
What’s my point? The Federal Government, with support of the agricultural states, promoted and helped finance exports like corn and other farm products that led to farmers becoming increasingly efficient and growing more. Now the government, led by Trump, is saying thanks for your efforts but we need you no more so we are going to charge a 25% tariff on your corn. Remember the U.S. previously promoted exports and leaned on countries like China to import our corn. Usually a tariff is on a product being imported not exported.
Farmers live on hope. They hope for good weather. They hope for fair prices for their crop. They hope for government policies that will support good policies like feeding the poor and cheap food for the rest of us.
For the life of me I can’t understand why farmers still support Trump. Maybe it is because Trump is thinking about paying them a bit of what they are losing. Perhaps bribery will work.
Red wing, Minnesota