Agri-Pulse Poll: Farmers See New Trade Top Need

Jamie Johansen

A recent survey conducted by Agri-Pulse and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in April falls in line with announcements from Washington D.C. this week on the importance of trade to American agriculture.

The survey found that more than a third of 133 soybean farmers (34.5 percent) said passing new trade agreements is the most important national issue affecting the profitability of their farm. Maintaining a Renewable Fuel Standard (27.8 percent) came in second and reducing regulatory burdens (13.5 percent) in third.

Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant, who helped collect and tabulate the results of the quarterly poll said, farmers are closely following the trade agenda of President Trump. “Almost three quarters of respondents said they agree with his plan to renegotiate NAFTA,” Wyant said. “It’s clear that the farm economy depends on trade and that our farm exports to Mexico and to Canada are critical for agriculture.”

Poll participants were somewhat divided over the president’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have joined the U.S. in a trading agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Forty-five percent disagreed with that move, while almost 38 percent backed his decision.

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.

Farmers also weighed in on the next farm bill, with 38 percent saying they’d like to see more investment in crop insurance followed by more funding for the conservation title (23 percent).

Ag Group, Agri-Pulse, Trade, USDA