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:
- Grocery store sales of meat by volume spiked at the onset of COVID-19 pandemic
- Food insecurity rates differ across U.S. States
- Agriculture’s share of total U.S. export value climbed to a new high in 2021
- Food insecurity in U.S. households with children reached two-decade low in 2021
- U.S. household food insecurity in 2021 unchanged from 2020
- Food insecurity in Africa spiked early in COVID-19 pandemic, with limited recovery a year later
- Interest expense ratio for farm sector stays even with 20-year average despite pandemic
- Adult obesity increased during first year of COVID-19 pandemic
- Share of income spent on food in the United States rebounded to pre-pandemic level in 2021
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.
- Farm Sector Financial Ratios: Pre-COVID Forecasts and Pandemic Performance for 2020
- Food Insecurity During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Four African Countries
- Single Commodity Export Dependence and the Impacts of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa
- The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Food-Away-From-Home Spending
- COVID-19 and the U.S. Meat and Poultry Supply Chains
- U.S.-Mexico Agricultural Trade in 2020
- Changes in Regional Hog Slaughter During COVID-19
- The COVID-19 Pandemic and Food Security in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Review of the Emerging Microeconomic Literature
- Filling the Pandemic Meal Gap: Disruptions to Child Nutrition Programs and Expansion of Free Meal Sites in the Early Months of the Pandemic
- Meatpacking Working Conditions and the Spread of COVID-19
- Financial Assistance for Farm Operations and Farm Households in the Face of COVID-19
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Redemptions during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- The Effects of COVID-19 on Food Sales
- International Food Security Assessment, 2020-2030: COVID-19 Update and Impacts of Food Insecurity
- A Timely Tool for Evaluating Financial Conditions in Agriculture: USDA Forecasts of the Value of Production in the Face of COVID-19
- 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:
- 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.”
- EPA Disinfectant List
- FEMA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Frequently Asked Questions from the CDC
- Homeland Security Resources
- State Department Travel Information
- World Health Organization