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Farmer Terry Davidson walks through his soy fields in Illinois in July. Photo: Nova Safo/AFP/Getty Images

America's soybean farmers are hanging onto their crops in an attempt to wait out President Trump's trade war with China, more than doubling U.S. soybean inventories, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: Retaliatory tariffs have drastically pushed down demand for American soybeans in China, easily the crop's largest market, with imports down by nearly 90%. And prices have fallen, too, as a bushel of soybeans now trades for less than $9 compared to more than $11 earlier in the year.

Between the lines: Unlike corn, soybeans don't store well, so farmers are risking their livelihoods for an economic detente that isn't guaranteed.

  • Soy had become one of the few bright spots in the American farming market given Chinese demand, so production has reached record levels just as demand crashed.
  • But many farmers have the same idea, pushing potential soy storage areas like containers and silos to the limit, forcing some to resort to one-time-use plastic bags. "I’ve heard farmers and commercial companies putting corn and soybeans into tool sheds and caves," Soren Schroder, the CEO of Bunge, the world’s largest processor of soybeans, told Bloomberg.

What's next: Bloomberg pegs soybean futures at $9.27 for next July, meaning that farmers could at least recoup some of their cash — even if it won't be at levels like earlier this year — as hope springs that the U.S. and China could reach a soybean deal at the G-20.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."

Biden challenges GOP agenda: "What are Republicans for?"

President Biden pushed back against Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda during a press conference Wednesday, asking "What are Republicans for?"

Why it matters: Biden's speech comes as he approaches one year in office, facing low polling numbers and a stalled agenda.