Trade war shots miss South Dakota's ranchers

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BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (KEVN) - Farmers in Eastern South Dakota are taking a hit from retaliatory tariffs from China, but ranchers over here are a different story.

The owner of the sale in Belle Fourche, Baxter Anders, tells us it's a actually a good year to be a rancher. Anders says cattle prices are generally up from last year and the so-called trade war with China isn't a big deal right now. In fact, the trade war may be inadvertently helping rancher by dragging down the price of cattle feed.

"As far as all the negatives with what you hear in the news and all that with the tariffs, I mean some day they might have a little impact but for right now we are going to giddy-up and go," Anders said. "I mean it feels good and I don't see an affect right now."

More than anything else, this year's favorable weather is the biggest factor for a positive cattle season for ranchers.

"When we see cheaper grain prices naturally the cattle are higher just because there's more buyer interest wanting to feed these cattle and there's much more feed in the country for them," Anders said, acknowledging their gain is a corn or soybean farmer's loss.

"The market seems to be a little stronger than it was last year," Anders said. "I mean it looks like to me everybody is going to get from anywhere from 25-50 bucks more price per head on their calves this Fall than what they did last Fall.

Earlier this week President Donald Trump announced subsidies for farmers and rancher impacted by tariffs. Anders says there’s no need for that in the South Dakota cattle market just yet.