From dairy farmers with nowhere to send their milk and cattle ranchers reeling from plummeting beef prices, the impact of the coronavirus is rippling through farm country.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says 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.
In an economic analysis, AFBF says price forecasts for most agricultural products are bleak.
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. Meanwhile, 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.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall, “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.”
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