Giving Compass' Take:

• In this interview, Scott Brown explains why COVID-19 will put strain on farmers in the long-term. 

• How can funders work to ensure the food supply in the long-term? What support do small farms in your area need most? 

• Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on seasonal farmworkers

How is the agricultural economy in the US faring during this crisis? Are farmers taking a hit?

US farmers are finding many challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. There is considerable uncertainty around corn and soybean crops, which are being planted in increased numbers after last year’s flooding and wet weather disrupted the crops.

Corn-based ethanol, for instance, continues to suffer as crude oil prices have remained below $25 a barrel. The rock-bottom oil prices are due, at least in part, to the economic downturn resulting from the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Many ethanol plants are now idled as turning corn into fuel is not financially profitable.

Livestock farmers have also seen markets turn considerably lower with the outbreak of COVID-19. Futures prices for live cattle (25% lower), hogs (35% lower), and milk (20% lower) have all moved down over the past two months.

This has strained livestock producers to figure out how to find markets for their products. In some cases, milk producers have been forced to dump milk because there is simply no room for it at processing plants.

Read the full interview with Scott Brown about the impact of COVID-19 on farmers by Austin Fitzgerald at Futurity.