Nearly half of New York farmers report losing sales during pandemic
New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization, unveiled the results of a member survey that found 65 percent of the state’s farms and agribusinesses have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 500 NYFB members participated in the informal survey conducted in mid-June that asked a dozen wide-ranging questions about the rural economy, health and safety of farm families and their employees as well as access to necessary personal protective equipment (PPEs). Respondents also described how they were personally affected.
Here are some key findings:
- 43 percent of farms have lost sales during the pandemic.
- More than a third of farms and agribusinesses (37 percent) are experiencing cash flow issues.
- Almost half (47 percent) say they have reduced spending to local vendors and suppliers or will do so in the future.
- An overwhelming majority of farms (84 percent) have a plan in place to train and assist their employees to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- 46 percent of respondents say they are concerned about their mental health or that of someone they know.
“What we found with this survey is that no farm was untouched by the pandemic or the economic fallout,” said New York Farm Bureau president, David Fisher. “All of this underscores the need to continue to invest in our food system while also making health and safety a priority.
"Farmers are doing their best to make sure food production doesn’t stop, but we need to maintain the ability to process, distribute and market what we produce. As the state and federal governments look toward potential budget cuts and additional COVID-19 assistance, agriculture must be a part of the discussion. It really does take all of us working together to have a strong, sustainable food system that supports the farm community and feeds yours.”