‘Farmer’ Northam says trade war has cut profits for growers

‘Farmer’ Northam says trade war has cut profits for growers
Gov. Ralph Northam updated lawmakers on the state economy Tuesday, which included the impact of trade policy on agriculture. (Source: Ned Oliver/ The Virginia Mercury)

President Donald Trump’s trade war with China threatens profits for Virginia’s soybean farmers, a group that includes Gov. Ralph Northam, he said during a financial update to lawmakers.

Northam, speaking at a presentation to the Joint Money Committee, owns and leases about 50 acres of farm land on the Eastern Shore.

“I’m a farmer,” said Northam, who is generally better known as a pediatric neurologist, adding that his land is full of soybeans, but he and other growers in the state may not be willing to harvest crops if they won’t be able to sell them.

“They may very well stay in the fields if they can’t sell,” Northam told the Joint Money Committee. “The farmers would much rather sell at a profit than rely on federal subsidies.”

The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.