The economic impact of Covid-19: Time for the US ag sector to play offense

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

The economic impact of Covid-19 on the US farm sector

Related tags US farm sector feed demand Dairy ethanol covid-19

In our latest Feed Matters podcast instalment, we talk to Brian Philpot, CEO of AgAmerica, about the effect of Covid-19 on the US agriculture industry.

AgAmerica, one of the largest non-bank agricultural lenders in the US, recently released a report on the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the US ag sector.​ That publication sees AgAmerica's chief economist assess the current economic climate and its effect on the US farm sector including the pricing of crops

The review noted that, in the US farm sector, meat and ethanol have experienced the most substantial fluctuations, with corn and dairy right behind. However, it acknowledges that each sector is facing their own set of challenges as the country navigates the Covid-19 crisis.

AgAmerica maintains that the US government response, both on a monetary and fiscal level, will play a major role in the economic recovery of the US agriculture industry, but also in the US at large and globally.

Philpot told FeedNavigator now is the time for the US ag sector to play offense.

In our discussion, he talks about how the US meat processing and packing industry is likely to evolve as a result of recent events, which farmed animal sectors have been hardest hit by the pandemic and whether there will be an uptick in feed demand happening anytime soon in the US.

Philpot also reflects on the impact of labor shortages in US agriculture, a long-standing issue, and whether that challenge has been heightened as a result of the pandemic.

He briefly outlines the future for the US ethanol industry, and with China seemingly making good on its pledges to buy US agri-commodities, the AgAmerica CEO sheds some light on US corn, sorghum and soybean trade right now.

He also evaluates whether the US government is doing all it can in terms of support for the farm sector.

When asked whether AgAmerica sees a strong rebound in the US economy in the second half of 2020, he reckons recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in many US states makes that too difficult to call.

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