South GA peanut farmers wait to see how US, China trade war will affect crop sales

South Georgia peanut farmers wait to see how U.S., China trade war will affect crop sales

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia farmers said they are not yet sure how the United States and China trade war will impact their crops.

What farmers are sure of is that they are still waiting for money they were promised under the Federal Disaster Relief Aid.

Georgia peanuts are harvested and ready to be distributed nationally and internationally. But peanut buyers wont be able to export their goods to China this year.

“We certainly have concerns about the tariff and the tariff talk. Sometimes I think just the talk of tariffs is worse than the tariffs themselves,” said the Georgia Peanut Commission Vice Chairman Joe Boddiford.

Joe Boddiford, the vice-chairman of the Georgia Peanuts Commission and a cotton, peanut and corn farmer.
Joe Boddiford, the vice-chairman of the Georgia Peanuts Commission and a cotton, peanut and corn farmer. (Source: WALB)

Trading between the US and China has stopped for now after 25 percent tariffs were placed on Chinese goods. Now, farmers and peanut sellers are uncertain about what the future holds.

“We’re just sitting there waiting and we’re spending money producing this crop but still no assistance through our efforts with disaster relief,” said Tyron Spearman.

Tyron Spearman with the National Peanuts Buying Association.
Tyron Spearman with the National Peanuts Buying Association. (Source: WALB)

Spearman is a part of the National Peanuts Buying Association. He said internationally, Mexico and Canada are actually the top peanut buyers. Taking some financial burden off of Georgia farmers during this trade war.

“Exports are only down about six percent. So we’ve got a good strong market. And if we can get this good crop in and move on to next year, we’re hoping we can make some profit for our farmers,” Spearman said.

Boddiford remains optimistic Georgia grown peanuts will make their way to China again soon.

“Quickly get us a trade deal with China so we can quit talking about it, know what we’re dealing with and just move forward,” said Boddiford.

Boddiford said it may take a few weeks to see exactly how sales will be impacted by the tariffs.

Peanuts aren’t the only crop affected by the United States, China trade war.

Boddiford also farms cotton here in Georgia. He said the US actually exports more cotton to China than peanuts. Meaning those who farm and sell cotton may lose even more this year.

“No, it’s not good at all in the cotton market. We’re below cost of production prices now and we’re going to have to have some relief in that pretty soon,” Boddiford said.

Just like with the peanut crop, Boddiford said it may take some time before they can really determine the impact the trade war will have on the cotton crop this year.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.