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Durbin talks local crop concerns: tariffs, drought, and still no farm bill

The view from one Tri-State berry farm. Dry weather meant they had to harvest crops early, dealing a big blow to their bottom line.

Farmers across the country and in the Midwest are facing a triple threat when it comes to their crops this season. Concerns over tariffs and drought, coupled with inaction over a farm bill in Washington, loom over farmer's fields nationwide.

Trade war talks in China have farmers on edge in the Midwest, and as the cost of their goods in that country increase, sales on our shore decrease.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin reached out to KHQA to share his thoughts.

"I can tell you when it comes to trade issues we have to be tough and assertive, but to have a trade war that involves thousands of different commodities going back and forth, hurting consumers and costing American jobs is not the way to do it," Durbin said.

Another concern for local farmers and their crops is the stalled 2018 farm bill.

Recent drought conditions could affect yields this fall and farmers are looking to the farm bill as a possible safety net.

"I'm urging the members before the house leaves for the August recess to get this bill done as quickly as possible," Durbin said. "I think it will some assurance to farmers all over Midwest that we're back in business when it comes to the important farm programs."

The current bill expires in September, so lawmakers are cutting it close. Right now, deliberations on the SNAP program are preventing the bill from getting passed.

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