The Trump administration has labeled agriculture as a critical industry in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, allowing businesses to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stem the spread of the virus.
Local and regional agriculture and food markets stand to lose up to $688.7 million in sales through May because of the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to analysts familiar with the sector.
The coronavirus has sent the markets into a tailspin, closed down schools, and turned restaurants into to-go stands. But so far, agriculture’s intricate supply chain is – for the most part – still turning.
The USDA GIPSA proposal billed as bringing “clarity” to regulations enforcing the Packers and Stockyards Act is receiving opposition from some prominent government officials, including a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission and eight state attorneys general.
Commodity markets continue to skid and farmers are heading into planting season facing the prospect of a global recession spawned by the coronavirus pandemic that could further depress demand for key ag commodities, including meat and ethanol, economists say.