Pandemic could lead to higher farm bankruptcies
American Farm Bureau chief economist John Newton says the COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to increased farm bankruptcies.
Newton says a big challenge for some farms is the loss of off-farm income.
“We’ve got nearly 40 million people on unemployment,” Newton says. “How many of those folks are farmers? We don’t know, but we do know that off-farm income plays a major role for your small- and medium-sized farm operations.”
Newton says there is a link between high unemployment and farm loan delinquencies—and he says those delinquencies were already on the rise before the pandemic.
“So we’re in a challenging environment that could, depending on how much support we get from the CFAP—and depending on what additional aid packages come down the line—could lead to more exposure and higher bankruptcies.”
Newton says Farm Bureau will continue to push for more federal for federal farmers and ranchers.
AUDIO: John Newton