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Minnesota soybean farmers brace as Chinese tariff goes into effect

REUTERS/Andres Stapff

A finger on the pulse of rural Minnesota. MPR’s Mark Steil reports: “You can see the impact of China’s tariff spat with the U.S. at the Farmers Cooperative Elevator in Hanley Falls, Minn. … There, thousands of bushels of Minnesota-grown soybeans are dumped into rail cars, headed for the Pacific Northwest and then out for export. … Assistant general manager Bill Doyscher doesn’t know exactly where the beans will end up, but since China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans, it’s a fair assumption that some of his trainloads will end up there. … China is scheduled to make good Friday on something it’s threatened for months: A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans.”

A pretty nice resolution to the Har Mar contretemps. The Pioneer Press’ Ross Raihala reports: “A heated Twitter war between two local musicians about race and cultural appropriation has turned into a fundraising campaign that’s expected to raise thousands of dollars for four Twin Cities nonprofits, including St. Paul’s Walker West Music Academy and High School for Recording Arts. … ‘If every internet beef could end like this, it’d be incredible,’ said Sean Tillmann, who records under the stage name Har Mar Superstar. … ‘This was the best case scenario,’ said producer/label owner Afrokeys (aka Erick Anderson), who accused Tillmann of culturally appropriating a black man’s music for his own profit. ‘It’s a great example of how things can turn around from pointing a finger and being upset to actually coming together to find a resolution.’”

Summer bummer. The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olso reports: “On summer’s high holiday with temperatures pushing triple digits, the Webber Park pool in the north Minneapolis remained closed to swimmers, as it has been for days, including last weekend’s sweltering heat. … The pool has not been open since June 24, due to water-quality issues. … The ill-timed closing is the latest hitch for a pool that is supposed to be both an innovation in pool engineering and an asset to North Side neighborhoods.”

Citizen won’t vote for Pedro Park. The Pioneer Press’s Frederick Melo reports: “St. Paul officials are choosing between two competing designs for a new half-acre park downtown over the objections of several residents appointed to help with the design. … One of the two plans — which have been posted to a slide presentation on the city’s Pedro Park website at — will be shared with the Ackerberg Group. The Minneapolis-based development firm has promised to devote $1 million or more into park maintenance and construction as it develops a building next door.”

In other news…

Weevil clean up these lakes:Students raise weevils to fight invasive milfoil” [Star Tribune]

More like bye-chickapop:Boomchickapop’s Mpls. headquarters to close; work to move out of state” [Star Tribune]

Yikes:10-year-old Minnesota girl survives being struck in face by lawnmower blade” [Pioneer Press]

Good luck to them:Local food collective look to feed community” [St. Cloud Times]

Weird:Dog brings home rare two-headed deer in North Dakota” [KARE]

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/06/2018 - 01:25 pm.

    Summer bummer

    I don’t swim for recreation – I’m inclined to view it more as a survival skill – but in my section of the city, the new pool has been regarded, and roundly criticized, by some local residents as a multi-million-dollar boondoggle rather than an amenity. Without a dog in this particular fight, I confess to agnosticism regarding the pool’s design and function, but this latest development lends credence to the view of the critics that it cannot be relied upon to perform as a public facility, built with taxpayer dollars, ought to perform.

  2. Submitted by Richard Callahan on 07/06/2018 - 05:35 pm.


    Donald Trump is doing exactly what he said he was going to do when the farmers voted for him. It’s hard to feel sympathy for them now.

  3. Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 07/08/2018 - 11:15 pm.

    Soybean Tariffs

    Reporting of this type displays a FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING of the way commodities markets work. You need to do a thought experiment. So…

    China imposes a 25% tariffs on US soybean. What happens then? Do you think the Chinese people are any less hungry tomorrow than they were yesterday? Your answer: “no.” ) Good job. One correct!

    So…what happens then? Chinese buyers go to Brazil or some other grower and buy there–bidding that market up.

    What happens then to the people who were buying Brazilian soybeans? They go to the next best place, (the US), and guess what?? The US has plenty, because China is no longer buying them.

    Chinese consumers are paying a little more for Brazilian soybeans. The rest of the world is paying a little more (FOB delivery point) for US soybeans. Overall price (delivered cost) is a little higher all the way around, so aggregate demand is ever so slightly less. US soybean producers get a LITTLE less for their crop, as they effectively end up paying the freight to deliver to a sub-optimal basis point.

    It’s sub-optimal for sure, but hardly the end of the world. And yes…for all you who lay awake at night worrying about global warming, the CARBON FOOTPRINT of all this global ag-trade ends up being higher.

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