WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – he current Ag economy is challenging for many commodities. But Jon Paul Driver with Northwest Farm Credit Services said things are looking positive for the hay industry. He said the great variable that remains, is trade with China.
Driver noted when looking back on 2018, hay exports through October dropped 22%.
“But that’s not the whole story. We have an opportunity to look at how the world is rearranging hay flows. So, we have to think about other potential suppliers for hay. We can respond to that, we can deal with it. I’m still optimistic that we’re going to have a trade resolution at some point. The only problem is the longer it lasts, the deeper the impact.”
The Trump Administration announced additional tariffs against China late last week, and Beijing announced additional retaliatory tariffs Monday. While the international market remains a question mark, Driver says American hay farmers, especially growers here in the Northwest have a reputation of quality.
“We have an ideal growing climate, we have access to water, we have dry summers, we can put up consistently good quality. That isn’t the case everywhere else in the world.”
Driver said some of the competitors Northwest growers should keep an eye on include, the American Southwest, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and Spain.
Picture: Washington Ag Network