WIFR: Farmers prepare for COVID-19 effects

After a shaky 2019 farmers across the region had high hopes for this year’s crop but farmers are facing some unique challenges.

"There's really no section of the economy that's exempt from fear right now, but especially when you look at the ag community," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th District).

“Our family farmers are very worried about this," said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17th District).

The COVID-19 pandemic keeps people inside and off the roads. Less usage causes a domino effect. Lowering prices at the pump, and lowering prices for corn, which is the main ingredient of ethanol.

"We're losing a lot of demand. We've lost 40% of our demand for corn just to the loss in ethanol," Stephenson County Farm Bureau President Steve Fricke said.

Farmers say that loss in demand weighs heavy on their mind, knowing financial struggles are ahead.

"We already know that with the prices we're at today for fall that we're going to be producing a crop for a loss,” Fricke said.

Even though the financial numbers do not look good, farmers say they will plant, grow, harvest, and do their best to stay positive.

"We go into the field hoping we will get a big crop, and the prices will somewhat rally. I mean someone will need our products and that will come," Caledonia Farmer John Reid said.

 

The full article and video interview can be found on the 23WIFR website here.