Farm Bureau Finds Most NY Farms Financially Impacted by COVID-19
We shared a recent article indicating about half of dairy farms across the country had received some type of money from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Unfortunately, a New York Farm Bureau survey found nearly every farm in the state has seen some negative economic impact on their operation.
More than 500 New York Bureau Members responded to the survey which asked questions about the farm economy, health and safety of families and employees, and the accessibility of protective equipment for individuals. Here are the major findings revealed:
43% of farms have lost sales during the pandemic.
37% of farms and related businesses are experiencing cash flow issues.
47% have reduced spending to local vendors and suppliers or will do so in the future.
84% have a plan in place to train employees to mitigate the spread of the virus.
46% are concerned about their mental health or that of someone they know.
A couple of concerns in the findings are the reduction of spending with local vendors and suppliers. This indicates a downward trend coming to businesses related to farming; like implement dealers, seed suppliers, repair shops and pesticide sales.
Another troubling indicator was 46% of respondents being concerned about mental health issues. The pandemic hit an already stressed agricultural industry adding reduced production for many dairy farms, while produce and maple producers were forced to find storage facilities with a loss of markets.
Nearly half of farms have applied or plan to apply to at least one of the federal assistance programs like the Small Business Administration's Economic Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection programs, or the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. There's still time to apply for funds, the deadline is August 28. Applications are processed through local Farm Service Agency offices. Here's where to find the nearest FSA office. Here's more info on how to apply and what the CFAP is covering.
Here's the Farm Bureau's entire survey report in print form, or watch the video press conference detailing the survey. The video also features farmers sharing how they have been impacted and has a question and answer session at the end.