AFBF economist says farmers will continue to face challenges in 2020


AFBF economist says farmers will continue to face challenges in 2020

The chief economist for American Farm Bureau says farmers will continue to face challenges in 2020.

The USDA projects net cash farm income will fall nearly 10 percent to $109.6 billion this year. John Newton says there are several reasons for that…“A lot of that’s due to the lack of a third MFP payment, but these trade situations are behind us now and we’re dealing with a new type of demand destruction in the form of the coronavirus and I think we’ve found yet another head wind for US agriculture this year,” he says.

He says farmers continue to face challenges and this is the eighth year of a down farm economy. “The current downturn rivals what we saw in the eighties,” he says.

Newton says farmers will plant more corn and soybean in 2020, but the challenge will be demand.

“Can exports increase in 2020 when you have several months of coronavirus and disruptions in the supply chain, will beef consumption continue to improve when people aren’t working or going out to restaurants or traveling for business conferences,” he says. “Two weeks ago we weren’t thinking about that.”

He says the trade progress with the phase one agreement with China is good news, but many in the agriculture industry are waiting to see US products move to see if China can meet the goal of purchasing $40 billion in US agricultural goods.

Newton spoke to media during the 74th Ohio Farm Bureau County Presidents’ Trip to Washington DC.

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