Stress levels are high among America’s soybean farmers, so much so that the terms “stress,” “anxiety,” and “concerns over mental health” were used dozens of times in an informal survey. 

The survey, released this week, was an initiative of the ASA COVID-19 Task Force, a 12-person group formed in March. 

ASA sent the survey to approximately 140 farmer leaders serving on the boards of soybean industry groups, with 60 percent of those persons participating. 

Ryan Findlay, CEO of ASA, responded, “We were struck immediately by how many respondents talked openly about the high levels of stress and anxiety on their farms.” 

An overwhelming majority, 82 percent, indicated they are practicing social distancing, washing hands, and other practices to minimize exposure, with very few, three percent, indicating they are not making any changes. 73 percent of respondents were moderately or extremely concerned about their farm being impacted by COVID-19. 

44 percent said the pandemic has already affected their farms, and another 33 percent feel trouble is likely on its way.