Let's start with what has been the good news for your dinner table: There is no food shortage.
The bad news, however, is that farms have too much supply, and too little demand as restaurants and schools remain closed.
School kids aren't buying milk. Neither are coffee shops and restaurants. That's led some dairy producers to dump their milk before it's even picked up to be sold -- deepening an economic uncertainty for thousands of farmers during the coronavirus pandemic.
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“There has been some milk dumping and prices have been falling as co-ops have adjusted to those new markets,” said Lauren Williams, the national affairs director for the Farm Bureau. “So things aren't looking as positive as we like, so we continue to look for USDA for some support.”
Agriculture producers are also seeking more help from Congress as the pandemic has largely shuttered the restaurant industry ahead of the next federal relief bill that could be approved by the end of the month.
Farms are often hit harder than most sectors by an economic downturn. The pandemic has snarled and upended supply lines in a variety of industries, making agriculture no different.
But the industry remains subject to other market whims, like trading conditions, which had already battered agriculture.
The heavy foot traffic in grocery stores by consumers loading up on food has not helped their bottom line.
“Transitioning from just fluid milk for grocery stores and school meals, we're also trying to allocate what's found in restaurants and switching processing around to do just bottled milk can be a bit of a challenge,” Williams said.
But consumers should not have to worry about hoarding food as a shortage of the nation's food supply does not exist.
“They're still able to produce crops and get them to market, so consumers shouldn't be able to see any shortage, which is a good thing,” Williams said.