Economic Tidbits

Agriculture’s Resiliency

Resiliency Through Disruption, a report prepared by Ernst and Young and Purdue University for AgriNovus Indiana, examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indiana agriculture as well as the future of food and agriculture. AgriNovus Indiana is part of a public and private sector partnership to fuel growth in Indiana’s bioscience industry. Losses to production agriculture in Indiana from the COVID-19 pandemic was estimated at $500 million. Perhaps more importantly for Nebraska agriculture, the report discusses the future of agriculture and provides recommendations for improved resiliency in the sector in light of the pandemic.

The report states, “Trends and challenges such as consolidation, risk management, labor and automation, supply chain complexity, and trade and regulation, all compounded by consumer pressures, will slowly change production agriculture…As always, farmers will need to be economically rational in their adoption of new technologies to drive efficiency and grow profits as they are increasingly exposed to consumer pressures for health, sustainability, and transparency.” According to the report the largest disruptions to agriculture in the future could include controlled environment agriculture (vertical farming), regenerative agriculture, and electric vehicles (impacts on ethanol demand). The report also offers several recommendations for food and agriculture companies to improve resiliency: implement transparency and traceability in supply chains, increase collaboration, build last-mile agility and shorter supply chains, and invest in the future.

While the report was prepared for the benefit of Indiana’s food and agriculture sectors, it’s analysis and findings are applicable to Nebraska agriculture as well. One of the bigger messages for Nebraska farmers and ranchers is that the world has changed with COVID-19, it’s going to change even more, it’s going to be more complex, and farmers and ranchers will need to respond accordingly. For more information on the report, go to:

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