A survey of farmer sentiment saw its largest drop in March since the monthly survey began in 2015. Most respondents pointed to financial impacts from the novel coronavirus.
The national Ag Economy Barometer saw sharp declines in current and future expectations tracking with other industries feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barometer co-author Jim Mintert says while the survey was taken early in March, when the virus was still picking up momentum in the U.S., about 75 percent of farmers says the virus would hurt their profitability.
“You know people became very concerned about not only the virus and the impact it might have on them personally, but obviously the impact it’s having on commodity markets and ultimately profitability,” says Mintert.
He says he plans to ask some more specific financial questions in the next survey.