Im worried about soybeans.

We grow them on my farm in Iowa, along with corn and cattle.

As the planting season approaches, तथापि, Im not sure how to handle my soybeans. Should we plant more or fewer than last year?

Much of it comes down to Mexico: Will that market still be open by harvest time?

Like all American farmers, we need export marketsand for us, Mexico has been a good destination for our soybeans. Our farm depends on these foreign customers.

So let me say this about NAFTA: Its been great for me as a farmer because it helps keep me in business. And its been great for American consumers, who enjoy more choices and better prices on a range of products, from beer to guacamole.

My preference would be to keep things the way they are.

राष्ट्रपति ट्रम्प, तथापि, has a different idea. He says he wants to re-visit NAFTAand this is causing some uncertainty.

Farmers face uncertainty all the time. We lack forecasts for this summers weather. Will it be wet or dry? Hot or cool? Markets are volatile, बहुत. Will the demand for beans be strong or soft? Will prices go up or down?

If we could gaze into a crystal ball and learn these basic facts, our planting decisions each spring would be a lot easier.

इस साल, तथापि, we confront the added uncertainty of politicsand one question is whether were about to enter a tit-for-tat trade war with Mexico.

Nobody wins trade wars.

Im optimistic that we wont enter oneand though Ive been skeptical of some of what President Trump has said about trade, I think we should give him a chance to improve NAFTA.

First of all, hes making good on a campaign promise. As a candidate, he pledged to renegotiate NAFTA. So we should expect him to try. Simply opposing any change to the status quoeven a status quo thats working well is to become irrelevant.

किसानों के रूप में, we make changes all the time. अभी, on my farm, were going through a big one.

I got into the cattle business 35 बहुत साल पहले. Yet the world has transformed since then, and the models that worked for us in the 1980s and 1990s dont make much sense nowadays. Were a small player in a large-commodity market. To survive, we need to find a new niche, perhaps by selling directly to chefs or even artisan butchers.

Im getting old for thisand so Ive challenged my daughter, who runs the business for us, to adapt by updating our practices. Im counting on young minds like hers to grasp the new economic realities and innovate for the future.

Im also sharing with her a bit of wisdom that a wise old farmer passed along to me when I was about her age: Dont ever let yourself become convinced of anything. Let the market tell you what to doand if it tells you to change, make sure youre listening.

The political markets have just told us something: NAFTA is most likely going to change. And its not just President Trump. If he had lost the election and Hillary Clinton had won, wed possibly be facing a similar situation.

At any rate, our country is about to reconsider and possibly update NAFTA. And as much as I am confident the existing agreement helps me and other farmers as well as consumers, perhaps its time to give it a new look. Since it came into force, after all, weve undergone a technological revolution involving everything from online shopping to the ubiquity of mobile phones.

A new and improved NAFTA should account for this, making it easier for us to move goods and services across the border, and in a way that creates new opportunities for people on both sides.

If its done well, then perhaps our cattle business will connect with restaurants in Chicago and Minneapolisand also Monterrey and Veracruz.

अंत में, we need a simple thing: Strong trade agreements with predictable allies.

We need to remember that everyone has a stake in these negotiations. It is imperative that we engage as stakeholders and make the case for trade. Dont leave this to others to get it right.

इस दौरान, Ive got to decide how many soybeans to plant this spring.

ध्यान दें: this column first appeared at The Hill on Feb 1.