Farm Bureau Estimates Tariff Related Losses Cost Nebraska Farmers Nearly $1 Billion in 2019

LINCOLN, NEB. – A new analysis by the Nebraska Farm Bureau estimates the ongoing retaliatory tariffs imposed by countries on U.S. agricultural exports will cost Nebraska producers $943 million in lost revenues in 2019. The projected losses would be in addition to tariff related losses in farm level income estimated between $695 million to $1.026 billion in 2018. The “Nebraska Farm and Ranch Losses from Retaliatory Tariffs 2019 Estimates” analysis was conducted by Nebraska Farm Bureau Senior Economist Jay Rempe as a way to provide an assessment of losses independent of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) assistance available to farmers to offset trade associated losses.

“We appreciate the administration’s ongoing support for America’s farm and ranch families through MFP assistance, but this analysis shows just how critical it is that we resolve the prolonged trade conflicts that have created the tariff pressures,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president, Sept. 3.

The new analysis utilizes United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data to estimate tariff related losses on a statewide per-commodity basis, as well as estimate total commodity losses on a per-county basis.

“The analysis shows that Nebraska soybean and corn growers will likely see the greatest cumulative losses. Soybean producers as a group are projected to lose out on nearly $589 million from retaliatory tariffs and corn producers are estimated to lose roughly $251 million,” said Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist. “Pork producers are projected to see $40 million in losses, while sorghum and wheat growers will collectively experience losses in the mid-$20 million range. Alfalfa growers are estimated to experience $9 million in losses, while dairy producers will likely lose out on roughly $3 million and dry bean growers collectively will lose $2 million due to retaliatory tariffs.”

Export losses of beef, hides and skins, ethanol, and other byproducts of Nebraska’s processing industries were not included in the analysis, but according to Rempe, losses in those areas would also impact producers bottom lines.

“Counting tariff losses for beef, ethanol, and other byproducts could easily push Nebraska farmers and ranchers’ collective losses from trade tariffs over the $1 billion mark,” said Rempe.

In terms of trade related losses estimated on a county-by-county basis, Cuming County is the most impacted county with estimated trade losses exceeding $48 million. Custer, Dawson, and Lincoln Counties followed with losses exceeding $32 million, while Platte County experienced losses of nearly $30 million.

“If you divide the total trade losses in Cuming County by population, we’re talking a loss of $5,300 per-person. That’s substantial when you think about how those monies would be spent in a local community and subsequently flow into our economy,” said Rempe.

The analysis also looked at the overall impact of trade associated losses to the state’s broader economy, projecting a total income loss to Nebraska’s economy of $1.16 billion due to retaliatory tariffs.

“This analysis shows how important trade is for Nebraska farmers, ranchers, rural communities, and our state. It’s vital we eliminate trade barriers and secure trade deals that allow farmers and ranchers to work freely to capture, develop, and grow international markets. Congressional passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, securing a bi-lateral deal with Japan, and progress on the China front would be very good places to start,” said Nelson.

The full analysis, including the county-by-county breakdown is available at www.nefb.org.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.