Corn, cotton and soybean futures have tumbled, ethanol plants have been idled, and some fruit and vegetable farmers are finding their best option is leaving produce in the field as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an economic analysis, the American Farm Bureau Federation says in the past month, dairy prices have dropped 26-36 percent, corn futures have dropped by 14 percent, soybean futures are down eight percent and cotton futures have plummeted 31 percent while hog futures are down by 31 percent.
A surge in demand for beef emptied grocery store meat aisles, but there is no lack of supply. Despite a rise in retail prices in some areas, the prices paid to cattle ranchers have fallen 25 percent.
“After years of a down farm economy and damaging severe weather, the COVID-19 ripple effects are forcing farmers and ranchers to face heartbreaking financial realities,”said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.