Florida farmers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to surveys conducted by researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Business closures undertaken to control the virus eliminated important market channels, slashing agricultural producers’ average income losses from 39% to 46%.
But average revenue declines were far higher in specific commodities. Shellfish aquaculture producers, for example, reported average income losses of 80%.
The public health emergency will have a long-term impact, said Christa Court, leader of the survey and a faculty member in the Food and Resource Economics Department. “Even as our economy ‘reopens,” we’re reopening to a new normal,” she noted.
“These sectors, regardless of the product or service they provide, will continue to feel the effects of the larger impacts on our state and national economies.”
In a May 19 press conference, Court pointed out that the UF/IFAS research team working on a study of survey results has developed preliminary data. The group will likely conduct additional surveys to gather more data in the future.
For more information about the surveys and the study, visit https://bit.ly/3cOWu5J.