Effects of COVID-19 on the Ag Economy

Agriculture

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The agriculture economy has been heavily affected during the coronavirus pandemic.

We spoke with Dr. Justin Benavidez, an assistant professor at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, about the changes the agriculture economy has had to undergo.

Dr. Benavidez said, “Since then feeder cows have lost about twenty-three cents a pound, hogs are down from sixty-five cents a pound to forty-five cents, corn is down from three dollars seventy-nine cents to three dollars forty-two cents.” Along with many other agricultural items that have decreased in value during this pandemic.

We also asked Dr. Benavidez how the Ag Economy was looking prior to this pandemic, he indicated that it was more of a neutral year so far.

He said, “The announcement of the trade deal with China was going to be a positive for the Ag economy in the upcoming year.”

Due to the pandemic, the China trade has not fully taken hold. Even post-pandemic, this trade may not have as big of an impact because it has been more of a negative year recently due to the decreasing in pricing as well as certain sectors having to consolidate to still operate.

Dr. Benavidez said that even though some plants may have to close in order to adapt to this pandemic, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will not reopen but a large portion of the time, that happens to be the case.

These changes have had to take place but the agricultural economy is able to refocus resources to still be able to operate in the same capacity. Even though these changes, Dr. Benavidez wanted to highlight the resiliency of the High Plains farmers and is confident they will be able to help the ag economy pull through.

What exactly does the ag economy look like post-pandemic? We asked Dr. Benavidez about his expectations post-pandemic, and even though this may be a tough time, he is confident there will be a return to form.

Some of the changes that will also take place are more awareness from customers alike.

“I think there’s going to be more interest in where our food comes from and how it gets to us just because people have not been faced with circumstances like this nationwide . . . in a very long time,” said Dr. Benavidez.


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