A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19

Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19

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Theme Overview: Agricultural Market Response to COVID-19

Joseph V. Balagtas, Joseph Cooper, and Mary A. Marchant

The articles in this Choices Theme issue evaluate the main short-term impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic for key food and agricultural markets and discuss potential longer-term implications. Topics examined include farm income, federal pandemic payments to producers, fruit and vegetables, dairy, livestock, consumer expenditures, and trade.

Estimates of Farm Income and the Outlook for Program Crops and Livestock, Pre- and Post-COVID-19

Seth Meyer and Patrick Westhoff

We examine the shift in the outlook for farm income and field crops, comparing projections made before the Phase One trade agreement and before COVID-19 to the outlook after these events occurred. The pandemic shocks sharply reduced the outlook for crop and livestock cash receipts and for farm income.

Agricultural and Food Policy Response to COVID-19

Ashley Hungerford, Anne Effland, and Robert Johansson

We provide an overview of the major emergency actions taken to address food and agriculture needs during the pandemic. We focus primarily on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, a direct payment program to producers administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, highlighting its uniquely broad scope.

Impact of COVID-19 and the Lockdowns on Labor-Intensive Produce Markets, with Implication for Hired Farm Labor

Daniel A. Sumner

Data on fresh produce shipments and prices in 2020 show no clear, significant differences between the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and earlier years. The produce industry, including farms, shippers, and the hired farm workforce, was remarkably resilient in the face of unprecedented challenges and disruptions.

COVID-19 and the U.S. Dairy Supply Chain

Christopher A. Wolf, Andrew M. Novakovic, and Mark W. Stephenson

This paper examines dairy market disruptions and adjustments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mix of dairy products consumed at home relative to away from home resulted in shortages for some products and disposal of others. Existing and new government programs blunted farm cash-flow impacts and enhanced dairy product demand.

The Impact of COVID-19 on United States Meat and Livestock Markets

Joseph V. Balagtas and Joseph Cooper

This paper assesses the COVID-19–related disruptions to meat and livestock markets in the United States. We provide a data-based description of the COVID-19 impact, including the shutdown of the food service sector, costs associated with packing plants’ efforts to move product across supply chains, and meat-packing plant closings.

Has COVID-19 Caused a Great Trade Collapse? An Initial Ex Post Assessment

Shawn Arita, Jason Grant, and Sharon Sydow

We conduct an initial ex-post assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on international trade. Descriptive analysis of observed trade flows suggests that agricultural trade was generally stable under the pandemic relative to non-agricultural trade and previous trade shocks; however, the level of observed changes was highly uneven across commodities and markets. Preliminary econometric analysis finds the pandemic reduced quarterly global agricultural trade by 4.2% in the second and third quarters of 2020. Findings of this study provide initial empirical evidence of the effects of the pandemic on agricultural trade and points to areas of future empirical research.

Consumer Food Buying during a Recession

Jayson L. Lusk and Brandon R. McFadden

Recessions are typically associated with lower incomes, greater unemployment, and increases in free time. This article reviews how food buying and consumption changed in past recessions, and discusses how the COVID-19 related recession, which is atypical in terms of impacts on household incomes and savings rates, has affected food consumption behaviors.