ERS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Media Resources
ERS anticipates trends and emerging issues in agriculture and food in order to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. The following information provides links to the latest available data supporting the analysis of potential effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on U.S. commodity markets, including supply chain disruptions and global demand for agricultural products. Additional links provide background information on a variety of farm and food topics.
We will update the page as more information becomes available. Find the latest on COVID-19 directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.coronavirus.gov.
USDA COVID-19 Resources
- USDA COVID-19 FAQs provides answers to questions frequently asked by USDA customers, stakeholders, and the general public. See FAQ’s related to ERS under “Economic Research.”
Current ERS Reports and Data
- COVID-19: Agricultural and Economic Implications provides the latest available data and analysis of potential effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on U.S. commodity markets, including supply chain disruptions and global demand for agricultural products.
- ERS Commodity Outlook Reports will account for, and discuss, the economic implications of COVID-19 on the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Latest reports:
- Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade is released quarterly (November, February, May, August) to provide information on USDA’s forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in Fiscal Year 2020.
- ERS Food Price Outlook provides monthly food price forecasts, including for both food purchased for consumption at home and away from home.
Current Charts of Note
- Children in Black and Hispanic households experienced greater food insufficiency than other ethnicities during COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 Federal financial assistance to U.S. farms varied by State
- Food gap in world’s most vulnerable regions expected to narrow by 2030
- SNAP and P-EBT benefit redemptions surpassed prior 3-year average in 2020
- Pork stocks unlikely to build to pre-COVID levels in 2021
- Share of food-at-home spending in the United States returned to Great Recession levels in 2020
- Rural death rates from COVID-19 surpassed urban death rates in early September 2020
- Principal operator, spouse or both worked off the farm in half of U.S. family farm households in 2019
- People spent more time preparing food and eating at home when working from home, 2017-18
- Retail food price inflation rate likely to decrease in 2021
- U.S. agricultural exports projected to strengthen in coming decade
- Economic growth of developing countries projected to support U.S. agricultural export gains
- U.S. farm sector profits forecast to fall in 2021
- U.S. consumers obtained almost half their chicken at away-from-home eating places, 2013–16 survey showed
- Shifts in where food is obtained likely to affect specific commodities
- Farm household income forecast to increase for operators of commercial and intermediate farms in 2020, driven by increases in direct government payments
- Smaller gatherings may have meant smaller turkeys on the Thanksgiving table
- 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
- U.S. food spending in June 2020 was $12 billion less than in June 2019
- Child food insufficiency in mid-July 2020 varied by State
- Eating-out expenditures in May 2020 were 37 percent lower than May 2019 expenditures
- Falling hog weights suggest the hog industry is managing supply-chain disruptions from COVID-19
- Retail prices for nearly all food-at-home categories up in June 2020 compared with June 2019
- Food insufficiency in mid-June 2020 higher in some States than others
- U.S. pork processing capacity utilization rebounds as COVID-19 infections of plant labor forces recede
- Retail orange juice sales rise during pandemic to highest levels in 5 years
- Prices for two key grains diverge on COVID-19-linked shifts in demand
- Record global feed grains production projected in 2020/21 amid pandemic’s uncertainty
- Eating-out expenditures in March 2020 were 51 percent below March 2019 expenditures
- Global trading prices for rice rose to highest level in 7 years due to export restrictions
- Wholesale price for Cheddar cheese falls sharply as demand falls
- Ethanol prices fall as demand contracts
- Hog prices fall sharply in April as slaughter capacity is constrained due to COVID-19
- Labor shortages at critical times can lead growers to leave product in the field or to delay harvesting
- COVID-19-related labor force absences in beef packing facilities significantly impact record pace of beef production
- Broiler processing volumes decrease sharply as plants adjust operations in response to COVID-19
- Record increase in March farm-to-wholesale beef price spread driven by sharp wholesale price changes in mid-March 2020
ERS Reports and Data Useful for Background Information
- ERS State Fact Sheets includes data by state on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment/unemployment, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports.
- Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials provides 70 charts and maps highlighting the basics on food, farming, and rural America.
- Farm Income and Wealth Statistics includes forecasts and estimates of farm sector income for the U.S. (1910 -2020F) and for states (1949-2018). The next release is scheduled for September 2, 2020, and will fully update the February 2020 U.S. sector and household wellbeing estimates and forecasts based on new information from USDA and other sources, as well as release state income estimates for 2019.
- ERS Food Expenditure Series is a comprehensive data set that measures the value of food acquired in the United States by type of product, outlet, and purchaser.
- , an annual report released in September 2019, shows that an estimated 11.1 percent of U.S. households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2018, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
.This 2014 report examined the extent to which year-to-year changes in the prevalence of U.S. household food insecurity could be explained by changes in the national unemployment rate, inflation, and the price of food relative to other goods and services.
- Related Amber Waves article: Inflation and Higher Food Prices Kept Food Insecurity Rates Relatively High After the 2007-09 Recession
- Rural America at a Glance: 2020 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on county-level population trends, employment, income, and poverty.
- Data for Rural Analysis includes a number of ERS county- and sub-county-level data sets that are used by policymakers and researchers to identify and describe rural and urban areas.
- cover major agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the U.S. farm sector, such as farm income.
ERS Interactive Tools
- Food Access Research Atlas presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility.
- Food Environment Atlas assembles statistics on over 275 food environment indicators at the county or State level that can influence food choices and diet quality.
- Atlas of Rural and Small Town America provides county-level statistics by broad categories of socioeconomic factors, including demographic and economic data and county classifications.