New report details impacts of COVID-19 on Nebraska’s ag economy


New report details impacts of COVID-19 on Nebraska’s ag economy

A new report details the impact of COVID-19 on Nebraska’s ag economy.

One of the report’s authors, Nebraska Farm Bureau economist Jay Rempe, says agriculture was among the hardest hit sectors.  And Rempe says without assistance from the federal government, the ag industry would “be in a world of hurt”.

“The estimates show that government payments will make up about 35 to 50 percent of net farm income in the state of Nebraska this year,” Rempe says.

He says agriculture was fortunate, to some extent, because the pandemic hit later in the spring. 

“It came right in March as farmers were entering the field and planting, which means they mostly had a lot of their seed, chemicals and fertilizer bought and on hand,” he says. “If this would have happened earlier and disrupted the transportation systems, we could have had a bigger problem.”

Rempe says one of the big questions going forward is if markets will regain their strength to offset a future drop in federal assistance.

The report was a collaborative effort between Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Platte Institute. Click here for more information.

AUDIO: Jay Rempe, excerpts from his remarks during a Wednesday news conference