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Ag economist: COVID-19 impacts on ag aren’t going away soon

An ag economist says the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt in the ag industry for quite some time.

Purdue University’s Allan Gray says the pandemic will likely continue to impact demand as well as farm income.

“This sort of fits and starts that we’re seeing right now on how we’re trying to open our economy and then the virus flares back up again and now maybe we’re slowing it down those things are not going to go away and we’ll continue to see demand shocks,” he says. “And from an overall farm income perspective, the pandemic is going to have a strong negative impact- I don’t know how it can’t.”

He says almost every sector— biofuels, specialty crops, livestock, row crops, and more— has been impacted.

But, Gray says the industry was already experiencing growing global ending stock levels, lower prices, and tighter margins before the pandemic.

“I don’t believe COVID-19 was necessarily the reason for this, I think we were headed there anyway,” he says.

Gray, director of Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Land O’Lakes Chair in Food and Agribusiness, made these comments during an Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance webinar.

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