With 55 percent of Ohio’s total agriculture exports coming from soybeans, a free trade agreement proposal with Panama, South Korea and Colombia is getting high praise from Ohio growers and the Ohio Soybean Association.

“The OSA asks our elected officials to support efforts to open new markets and allow America’s farmers to fairly compete for business from countries needing agriculture products,” OSA President and Darke County farmer Jeff Wuebker said. “Inaction regarding their trade agreements has resulted in the loss of U.S. market share and slower economic growth.

Prices have been strong for farmers growing soybeans — as well as corn and wheat — largely because of local demand.

High prices, however, could hurt livestock farmers.

“The major feed to livestock which produces meat, milk and fiber, could have their margins hurt if there is a rise in the prices of the commodities,” said Steve Prochaska, extension agent for Crawford County, where 38.6 percent of farmland is used to grow soybean