Poll: Iowa growers see trade as hope for sour farm economy

With the farm economy still stuck in a multiyear slump, Iowa soybean producers see trade as one of the big opportunities for improving their economic situation.

More than a third—35 percent—of 133 Iowa soybean farmers surveyed by Agri-Pulse said passing new trade agreements is the most important national issue affecting the profitability of their farm. Coming in second at 28 percent was maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard, followed by reducing regulatory burdens at 14 percent.

Poll participants were somewhat divided over the president’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Forty-five percent disagreed with that move, while almost 38 percent backed his decision.

According to Agri-Pulse, perhaps the strongest response in the survey was to a question about the EPA. About 85 percent of the farmers surveyed said they “somewhat” or “strongly” agree with the executive orders Trump has issued rolling back agency regulations. Only 13 percent disagreed with those orders.

The poll was conducted in April with the Iowa Soybean Association.

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