Study: 82% Of Georgia Farmers Have Seen Decline In Revenue
Audio story by Maria White Tillman.
A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that 82% of farmers in the state have seen their revenue decline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The findings released this month come from a May survey of more than 800 farmers in Georgia.
The report said some farmers have seen their revenue decline by more than $8,000 a week while others anticipate an annual loss of nearly $50,000.
The livestock industry was hit especially hard as livestock sales barns across Georgia closed down due to the virus, Mark McCann, an official at the university, told The Valdosta Daily Times.
Gary Black, the state’s agriculture commissioner, told the newspaper that industry has since “rebounded a little bit” but depressed prices still present a problem for beef producers.
Poultry has also seen a decline in demand due to restaurant and hotel closures, and some dairy farmers had to dump their milk for similar reasons.
About 70% of the respondents were not participating in any coronavirus relief programs. More than three-quarters of the farmers also added they didn’t believe these programs will provide necessary relief for their businesses.
“I think there’s more emotional stress than they attribute,” said McCann. “Any kind of stress that they feel about the finances is going to bleed over into the personal side.”