EUGENE, Ore. — At a Lane County hazelnut farm, Mother Nature this year has been more forgiving than the trade war.
Snow fell hard in early February and snapped branches at Harper Farms. The Willamette River flooded in April and forced the replanting of some young trees there. But even as Midwestern farms are reeling from catastrophic weather, all farmer Tiffany Harper Monroe wants to know is when trade with China will stabilize for her hazelnut exports.
“Trade disruption has heavily impacted almost all commodities in the United States, and especially at my family’s farm,” Harper Monroe said. “It’s been extremely challenging. We’ve had to make a lot of personal sacrifices.”
China boosted its tariffs on hazelnuts from 25 percent to 65 percent since the trade war with the United States started. Oregon grows 99 percent of all the country’s hazelnuts and once sent as much as 60 percent of them to China. And after the Trump administration this month labeled China a currency manipulator and put more tariffs to their goods, China said it would stop buying U.S. agriculture products.
In all, 40 percent of Oregon agricultural production is exported internationally, according to the Oregon Farm Bureau. Oregon’s top markets are Japan, South Korea, Canada and China.