A majority of the farms in New York have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a New York Farm Bureau report released on Tuesday found.
The report surveyed 500 agriculture businesses and farms in the state in mid-June, asking them about the state of rural economies, health and safety of families as well as workers and the access to personal protective protective.
The result: Farms, like businesses anywhere across the globe, are feeling the pinch from the pandemic.
But farms, especially smaller family run operations, remain challenging businesses to run even in good economic times.
The survey found 43 pecent of farms have lost sales during the pandemic, 37 percent have had cash flow problems and 47 percent have had to reduce spending with local vendors.
The survey also found 84 percent of farms have had to train or assist workers in social distancing measures. Forty-six percent say they are concerned about mental health as a result of the crisis.
“What we found with this survey is that no farm was untouched by the pandemic or the economic fallout,” said New York Farm Bureau President, David Fisher. “All of this underscores the need to continue to invest in our food system while also making health and safety a priority. Farmers are doing their best to make sure food production doesn’t stop, but we need to maintain the ability to process, distribute and market what we produce. As the state and federal governments look toward potential budget cuts and additional COVID-19 assistance, agriculture must be a part of the discussion. It really does take all of us working together to have a strong, sustainable food system that supports the farm community and feeds yours.”