Trip to Iowa, where farmers who voted for Trump pay Trump's policies at a high price


The commercial conflict, coupled with the consequences of climate change that are making the seasons more extreme, upsetting the natural course of the fields, hit farmers hard. But not everyone blames the American president. "I have no problem with this choice, in fact this is the battle that convinced me to support Donald Trump more"says Tim Bardole, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, from his farm. He is also a soy producer based in Rippey, Iowa, about thirty kilometers away from the city of Des Moines.

He too has a strong family history, begun in 1901 and continued by his father Roy. Bardole does not deny the worries related to the collapse of prices. He also complains of having to sell soybean at a lower cost than production, to China. "But the choice was the right one: it had to be done twenty years ago, when previous administrations ignored that China was manipulating our market».

Also because Beijing buys 60% of the soy worldwide. And for Bardole, Trump's elector who does not consider himself "either a Republican or a Democrat", for too long Presidents Bush and Obama "have allowed the Chinese to use names similar to those of our products to poor quality and to present themselves at fairs for copy our equipment ». Now we have only arrived at a point of no return.

"Every entrepreneur's dream is to know when a problem is coming, in order to take counter-measures: we have come prepared," says Walton. And the counter-measures implemented by the farmers were three. The search for alternative markets such as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, as well as Thailand and the Philippines. The sowing of new maize forms, like the one Dave Walton calls "Italian corn", brought by Italian immigrants of the early twentieth century in this part of America to "produce polenta". And the implementation of the so-called "Renewable Fuel Standard", which became law in 2007 under Obama, but never implemented.

The Trump administration plans to speed up this program, however allow farmers to sell vegetable oil as fuel. An important entry is missing, because the oil lobbies are resisting. And because the high environmental impact of producing this fuel has slowed the dissemination process for a long time. "In 2020, new devices will come in to help us," explains Tim Bardole. "But the efforts are not in the least sufficient," explains Dave Walton.

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