Bill Beam has had no issue selling his soybeans this year. The Pennsylvania farmer has run into problems with price.
Soybean futures prices have plunged more than 15 percent since China said in April that it would levy 25 percent tariffs on more than 100 U.S. products including soybeans in retaliation for the Trump administration's duties on steel and aluminum. Beam, who plants soybeans on nearly 1,500 acres of a southeastern Pennsylvania farm that his father and grandfather managed before him, says the price change had a "substantial" effect on his revenue.
Beam, who sells soybeans to brokers for eventual export, told CNBC that he estimates the value of his soybean crop has fallen by about $100 an acre — or nearly $150,000 overall.
"It's a lot of money," the 58-year-old Beam told CNBC at his Elverson, Pennsylvania, farm last week. "If I lose $100 an acre, and you take the acres that I farm, it's a lot of money. And I don't think there's anybody that really can say they're making a lot of money at these prices, if any."
Beam, who supported President Donald Trump, also farms wheat and corn. He said farmers who grow crops like his have the ability to store them and wait until prices recover. "That being said, you've still got to pay your bills eventually, so that's a challenge," he added.