COVID-19 Economic Implications for Agriculture, Food, and Rural America
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated economic impacts have implications for agriculture, food, and rural America.
ERS’ research program considers links in the farm-to-consumer supply chain that may be affected by the pandemic, including farms, processors, handlers, retail outlets, and trade. ERS also examines the economic impacts of the pandemic on consumers, food assistance program participants, residents of rural America, and farmers.
This page highlights ERS research and data that can help interpret and understand the emerging economic impacts of the pandemic. The page will be updated as more information becomes available.
See also Resources for the Media.
Topics Covered by ERS COVID-19-Related Research
ERS COVID-19-related research and data address impacts related to these key subjects:
- India, a major rice and wheat producer, sharply expands subsidized distribution of food grains in response to pandemic
- Falling global GDP surrounding worldwide pandemic likely to weaken U.S. agricultural exports in 2020
- Food at home’s share of total food spending hit a high of 66 percent in April 2020
- SNAP participation and spending respond to economic conditions
- More COVID-19 cases per capita in U.S. metro than nonmetro areas, but the share of cases in nonmetro areas is increasing
- As of August, food-at-home prices in 2020 were above 2019 levels
- U.S. cotton product imports recovering from COVID-19 impact
- Food security outlook improves for 76 low- and middle-income countries by 2030 despite income impacts of COVID-19
- Farm sector profits forecast to rise in 2020
- U.S. food spending in June 2020 was $12 billion less than in June 2019
ERS has established a temporary Working Paper series to provide timely research on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food system, consumers, producers, and the economy. This series serves as a vehicle for publishing initial research and analysis on topics relevant to understanding the impacts of the pandemic in a short time frame. The series is not intended to be a long-term publishing series, but one used to disseminate research relevant to the current national pandemic, during the pandemic.
The Working Papers are subject to an expedited review process by ERS economists and social scientists. The findings and conclusions in the Working Papers are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.
- COVID-19 Working Paper: A Timely Tool for Evaluating Financial Conditions in Agriculture: USDA Forecasts of the Value of Production in the Face of COVID-19
- COVID-19 Working Paper: Shares of Commodity Consumption at Home, Restaurants, Fast Food Places, Schools, and Other Away-from-Home Places: 2013-16
ERS Commodity Outlook Reports will account for, and discuss, the economic implications of COVID-19 on the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). Latest reports:
- Cotton and Wool Outlook Tables: January 2021
- Feed Outlook: January 2021
- Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Monthly Outlook: December 2020
- Oil Crops Outlook: January 2021
- Rice Outlook: January 2021
- Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: December 2020
- Vegetables and Pulses Outlook: December 2020
- Wheat Outlook: January 2021
- Selected Weekly Fruit Movement and Price describes the change in shipment volume, farm prices, and retail prices of select fruit for the week noted. Volume and prices reflect weekly marketing and supply chain conditions which can be affected by various factors including pests, weather, imports, exports, retail promotions, and labor disruptions.
- Selected Weekly Vegetable Movement and Price describes the change in shipment volume, farm prices, and retail prices of select vegetables for the week noted. Volume and prices reflect weekly marketing and supply chain conditions which can be affected by various factors including pests, weather, imports, exports, retail promotions, and labor disruptions.
- Find the latest on COVID-19 directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.coronavirus.gov.
- USDA COVID-19 FAQs provides answers to questions frequently asked by USDA customers, stakeholders, and the general public. Find FAQs related to ERS under “Economic Research.”
- CDC Situation Summary
- EPA Disinfectant List
- FEMA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Frequently Asked Questions from the CDC
- Homeland Security Resources
- State Department Travel Information
- World Health Organization