Local ranchers, farmers not worried about potential China tariffs

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GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas – As tariff negotiations with China loom, local farmers and ranchers believe concerns may be overblown.

I'm all for it," said Benno Luensmann, president of the Seguin Cattle Company. "I think we need to go ahead and step on them and say, 'This is it.' And from now on, we trade on an even basis."

Luensmann wants to set the record straight. 

While widespread news reports have detailed market concerns for beef and agriculture with regard to potential tariffs by China, he is in full support of President Trump's actions.   

"I think it is more or less a news media factor," Luensmann said. "They're saying, 'Well, we're going to be really hurt.' Let's see what happens."

Markets have been closely watched by several industries after Trump initially threatened tariffs and China threatened to retaliate.   

"They fluctuated. The fat cattle have gone down considerably, and we attribute a lot of it to Lenten season," Luensmann said.

In general, markets appeared to settle some this week, including in agriculture. Grain sorghum, widely grown in South Texas and commonly exported to China, took a hit when talks began. 

"First, it was, 'Well, we voted for him and now look what he did to us,'" said Glenn Hild, president of Hild Brothers Inc., which services farmers in Marion. 

But that sentiment seems to have waned. 

"As of actually, yesterday, the prices now are back to where they were before all this talk began," Hild said. 

Which leads to believe how much Chinese tariffs will affect the bottom line for farmers and ranchers.   

"It's probably going to have a little effect, but the lion roars the loudest. He doesn't bite nearly as hard as he roars," Luensmann said. 

About the Author:

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.