COVID-19 Could Pack a $3.7 Billion Hit to Agriculture
An analysis conducted by the Nebraska Farm Bureau indicates Nebraska’s agricultural economy in 2020 could face nearly $3.7 billion in losses due to COVID-19 if economic conditions do not improve. The estimate is based on a “snapshot” of revenue losses on 2019 and 2020 production sold in 2020.
Commodities which make up the bulk of the state’s agricultural economy including corn, soybeans, wheat, beef cattle, and pork production, as well as dairy and ethanol are part of the analysis. The analysis does not account for financial assistance farmers and ranchers may receive through state and federal COVID-19 relief programs or any changes in costs due to COVID-19. Yet, the results still demonstrate the potential magnitude of the financial challenges facing farm and ranch families.
The analysis shows potential estimated losses for corn and soybean producers alone could reach $1.17 billion in 2020, with beef producer losses adding another $971 million. Potential losses for the ethanol sector could reach $1.3 billion assuming Nebraska’s ethanol plants are unable to run at more than 75 percent of capacity for the remainder of the year. The analysis further pegs potential losses in the pork sector at $166 million, with dairy losses near $66 million, and $8.7 million in COVID-19 related losses for wheat growers. The estimates assume prices won’t improve for the remainder of the year. With half of the year remaining, price improvements can change these figures markedly to the better. The “COVID-19 and Nebraska Agriculture Potential Estimated Losses” analysis is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau COVID-19 webpage at www.nefb.org/covid-19.