COVID-19 and the Agriculture Industry: Labor, Supply Chains, and Consumer Behavior
Luis Peña-Lévano, Grace Melo and Shaheer Burney
The articles in this theme discuss the many ways in which COVID-19 has affected the U.S. agriculture industry. In particular, the articles explore the demand and supply-side effects on domestic and immigrant agricultural labor, disruptions in agricultural supply chains, and short and long-term changes in consumer food purchasing behavior.
Luis Peña-Lévano, Shaheer Burney, Grace Melo, and Cesar Escalante
COVID-19 has disrupted labor employment, supply chains and consumer behavior in the U.S. This infographic discusses these effects paying particular attention to labor concerns in agriculture and the unemployment effect by ethnicity and race, as well as the effect on the supply changes and the long-run effects in consumers behavior and how the pandemic has restricted the access of H2A workers into the U.S. which may have effects on crop production. The epidemiological data in this infographic also suggests that crop workers are susceptible to COVID-19 due to underlying health and social risk factors. Given the rapidity with which the crisis induced by the pandemic has evolved, the main intent of this infographic is to describe the situation in its current form. However, it highlights long-term implications for the agricultural industry.
Luis Peña-Lévano, Shaheer Burney, and Colton Adams
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has surged in many sectors of the economy. While unemployment in food services is largely the product of demand-side shocks, such as restaurant and school closures, unemployment in food processing and production is related to supply-side factors such as issues of worker safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and necessitated government intervention. This article discusses U.S. government policies affecting the supply and demand of agricultural labor. The predicted effect of these policies is to decrease the availability, efficiency, and overall productivity of these essential workers.
Gulcan Onel, Skyler Simnitt, Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, and Antonio Tovar-Aguilar
The spread of COVID-19 among “essential” crop workers is a source of major concern for growers and policy makers. COVID-19 risk factors for Florida crop workers vary across counties and legal status groups. These differences suggest the need for tailored prevention and mitigation plans for COVID-19 infections among crop workers.
Cesar L. Escalante, Tianyuan Luo, and Carmina E. Taylor
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government ensured continued processing of H-2A visa applications. H-2A worker arrivals, however, were disrupted by travel bans, strict medical screening at ports of entry, and virus outbreaks at the border. Labor could be a disrupting factor as farms strive to meet sustained demand during the pandemic.
Lurleen Walters, Tara Wade, and Shellye Suttles
This article highlights the logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for the U.S. food supply chain and reviews emergency support provided through the transportation sector given specific regulatory exemptions.
At the beginning of COVID-19, emotional thinking induced panic buying. As the pandemic unfolded, rational thinking became apparent and prompted spending and financial adjustments. Online shopping and consumer demand for food safety, in addition to technology-driven retail and higher quality-assurance standards, will characterize the post-pandemic food system.