Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Poll: farmers and ranchers expect to make less money this year than last

"An unusually large portion of U.S. farmers and ranchers expects worse financial performance on their farms this year than last, said a Purdue University poll released on Tuesday. And although producers are less worried by the coronavirus pandemic than in the spring, they are calling for President Trump and Congress to provide more money," Chuck Abbott reports for Successful Farming. "The monthly Ag Economy Barometer, based on a survey of 400 large-scale producers, said 43 percent of respondents expected a worse year financially, sharply higher than 30% at the end of 2019 or 22% in April 2018. Farmers are a famously dour group. In Purdue polling, few expect a better year and the majority routinely says things will be 'about the same,' with a sizable vote for 'worse.'"

Respondents were slightly less worried about the impact of the pandemic on their farm's profitability than they were earlier this year. "In May, 71% said they worried about the coronavirus’ impact on their farm’s profitability and 54% said they expected a worse financial performance this year," Abbott reports. "In the latest poll, 61% said they worried about the coronavirus and 43% expected worse financial results." However, two-thirds of respondents said, then and now, that Congress should pass another bill providing economic support to farmers because of the pandemic.

Congress will likely give farmers more money in the next stimulus bill, Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a recent press conference. "The USDA has paid $6.8 billion in coronavirus aid to farmers so far this year," Abbott reports. "The House has voted for an additional $16.5 billion for payments to producers and Senate Republicans have proposed $20 billion for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to distribute. But there was a chance of a 'skinny' bill that would handle urgent issues such as unemployment compensation, with agriculture and other sectors left for action in September," Grassley said.

No comments: