Great deals



What with President Trump tweeting a couple really great deals for farmers, you would have thought that corn and soybean markets would have run wild last week. Trump announced that ethanol would actually get the 15 billion gallons of the fuel market that Congress prescribed into law, and that the first step of a trade deal with China is in place. Corn went up 20 cents per bushel and beans were up 13. Hope you didn’t buy 80 acres based on those promises.

There’s a reason Sen. Chuck Grassley wants things in writing from President Trump, at least when it comes to ethanol. You can’t trust his word. The renewable fuels industry is optimistic but wants to verify, and it still has other issues to address (such as the billion gallons the industry is producing over the 15-billion gallon guarantee).

There is nothing in writing on this nascent trade deal with China. Trump said the Chinese will buy up to $50 billion in agricultural goods. China is not so clear. It says that it wants the USA to guarantee it will not impose tariffs in December before it will proceed on any talks. It sounds to us like we do not have a deal.

And that is what the markets are suggesting. They can’t trust Trump at his word, either.

The harvest was just starting last week. There is much uncertainty. Yields are not in. The only factor was the news on ethanol and trade, and the markets remained uninspired.

If you counted on disaster payments to make it up, the two payments amount to no more than half what the soybean markets lost thanks to Trump’s blunders.  Those disaster payments cost more than the entire auto industry bailout in 2008. And there is no end in sight, actually.

Trump has abused farmers, and his pitches for their support are half-baked. If we get a trade deal with China, it is questionable whether we can win back even half the soybean market we once had. That business is now locked into South America, where China is making significant infrastructure investments.

Iowans will have to search for other reasons to support him. Perhaps for stepping back and allowing the slaughter of the Kurds? Or using foreign governments to spy on his political opponents? Or locking up children in cages? Or that he is pro-life? Right. He is a disaster.

THIS FROM A NOTE sent from a lifelong Storm Lake friend: He recently changed his registration from Republican to Democrat because of Trump and Rep. Steve King. “Then, Democrats aren’t helping themselves a lot, either. The Number One reason evangelicals won’t support Democrats is because of abortion, and 2) their perceived belief Democrats are against religion and God. Whichever candidate is willing to offer an olive branch to the other side and try to work together, regardless of our differences, I will vote for.” There are a lot of people like our friend to whom nobody is talking.

Important investment

It’s taken a long, long time but Storm Lake should celebrate that Tyson Fresh Meats is building a $37 million feed mill that will add 12 new jobs. This will allow the old Vilas feed mill on Seneca Street to be vacated out of the center of town, with its dust and truck traffic in a mixed commercial-residential area. This presumably will be an ideal site for redevelopment, which the city needs.

The new feed mill will be located along Radio Road in an existing industrial area with much better truck access. Everyone will be better off.

The feed mill serves Tyson’s turkey growing business around Storm Lake. Putting in a state-of-the-art facility cements our place as a livestock production and processing center in a shifting industry. Tyson has pumped a lot of investment here in cold storage at the pork plant, in repair and improvement of the turkey processing facilities, and now in the feed mill.

A lot of hardworking people depend on these investments to keep their futures secure.

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