Agriculture Weathering the Pandemic Storm

The economy has been a challenge over the past two years and continues to be moving into a new year. But agriculture has weathered the storm without the damage once feared when the pandemic started, and many restaurants shut down for a time.

Rabobank’s Steve Nicholson says it could have been worse.

“For agriculture, the good news is the economy’s growing and consumers have money. And, you know, there’s not as many restaurants so people are eating at home. And so, they’re going to the grocery store and buying it and bringing it home and eating it. So, that’s been good for a lot of parts of the ag economy.”

Some categories, Nicholson says just exploded. “Despite all the issues of COVID, you know, it has been good for agriculture. The restaurant business, food service has been challenged, there’s no doubt about it. It’s coming back. It’s not what it used to be. You know, generally it’s been pretty good for agriculture and making sure, also, that everyone stays healthy is a big challenge as well.”

Nicholson says it’s all a balancing act.

“I think when you look at the overall economy, think about inflation that could raise some challenges, you know, ever-increasing costs. As we know, commodity markets don’t really care. I mean, inflation will help keep commodity prices higher, but if the supply and demand overwhelm them, they don’t really care if it’s inflation or not, I mean prices will do what they need to do.”

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