soybeans

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

The order came in April. China's government instructed farmers in the country's northeastern breadbasket region to grow more soybeans, calling it "a political priority."

But soybean fields lay empty in the village of Sandaogou, which means "Three Ditches," in Liaoning province. It has been a dry spring.

"We've had a drought this year, so we planted soybeans late. The seedlings should be out by now. We need more rain," says farmer Liu, who only gives her surname for fear of trouble with local authorities. Soy, after all, has become "political."

Flickr.com

An Ohio State study finds that some Ohio farmers could lose more than half of their annual income if a threatened 25 percent tariff goes into effect on soybeans and corn sent to China.

United Soybean Board / Flickr

After placing a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork and a 15 percent tariff on other goods like fruit and wine earlier this week, China is now threatening to go further. China is looking to expand its scope to exports essential to Central Ohio’s economy, including soybeans, beef and cars.

Brian Johnson and Dane Brian / Flickr

Ohio farmers are pushing back against the Trump administration after China made good on promises to respond to recent U.S. tariffs with tariffs of its own.

Farming is an industry worth more than $100 billion in Ohio. But all the rain this summer means farmers weren't able to plant all their corn and soybean fields. And what seeds were planted are being drowned.