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Coronavirus shutdown devastating for America’s farmers, says National Farmers Union VP

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The impact of the coronavirus shutdown has been devastating for America’s farmers, National Farmers Union vice president Patty Edelburg said Friday.

Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with host Ed Henry, Edelburg said that there is much more supply than demand in the industry right now after restaurants, hotels and schools have shuttered.


“I mean, obviously we have a lot of milk plants, meat processing plants where if individuals are getting sick in the plants and they need to start closing the plants down that they’re going to have to start shutting off supply,” she stated. “Unfortunately, right now that’s not necessarily the case. Right now we’re seeing a lot more where there is way too much supply.”

“Obviously with the hotels, schools, and restaurants all closed down, there is so much more supply out there that…prices are just falling and dropping rapidly for farmers right now,” Edelburg added.


Additionally, Edelburg noted that perishable products like milk are “just getting dumped,” especially because of how much of the supply is bought by schools for students.

Edelburg said that, even with more and more people getting sick, she still didn’t believe there would be a supply problem in America.

“It’s going to be more on the farmer end,” she remarked. “We’ve seen prices drop on products: 25 percent for beef down to 35 percent for dairy products alone. The farmers are the takers. The farmers are the price takers, not the price makers. If we start seeing supply chain breakups, I think it’s going to be more because we are losing farmers in the country than it is the product that they’re actually producing, unfortunately.”


“So, it’s a huge impact on the farmer end of it. It’s a huge impact economically for any restaurant owner, of course. But, economically, for the farmer the markets have tanked really hard in the last six weeks,” Edelburg concluded.


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