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Department of Agricultural Economics

Economics of Agriculture During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVIDAs Kansas is beginning to reopen, K-State Research and Extension faculty and staff are still on the job during closures and social distancing. Agricultural Economists have been busy providing updates and consulting on the impacts of the uncertainty and economic disruption are having on livestock markets, grain markets, land values and the overall agriculture economy. In coordination with AgManager.info, the Economics of Agriculture During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Series of Online Gatherings webinars were created.

“When the COVID-19 Pandemic started and the economy was shutting down, our Ag Econ team recognized that Kansas stakeholders would have a number of questions. We could address these questions in a webinar format,” Brian Briggeman, agricultural economist and director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center, said.

MarshallPrimary topics of the webinar series have been updates on the macro economy, grain markets and planting intentions, effects on livestock markets, effects on land values, Kansas farm income, and a discussion of the CARES Act and Agriculture with Representative Roger Marshall and Senator Pat Roberts. Presentations on each subject were followed by the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.

“The webinar series had a primary goal of addressing questions from Kansas stakeholders. However, the last two months has been filled with unprecedented changes. There were significant needs and questions coming from every industry. A more focused response was required. Our Agricultural Economics team was up to the task by producing additional applied research, fact sheets, webinars, and interviews, all aimed at helping agricultural leaders make better and more informed decisions,” Briggeman said.

In addition to the original webinar series, there have been a number of other videos and interviews on stimulus programs, oil and biofuels, the Federal Reserve’s response, as well as weekly updates on the IHME COVID-19 Projection Model. All of these resources are posted on the AgManager.info website.

“AgManager provided us with the necessary platform for K-State ag economists to connect with local, state, regional and national audiences,” Briggeman said.

Judging by the response, the webinars and resources are meeting the needs of producers and agribusinesses for information during the pandemic. To date there have been more than 1,700 online participants and more than 6,600 additional viewings of session recordings since the middle of March. The recorded sessions are on AgManager.info and the YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/AgManagerInfo

“This webinar series was developed recognizing the rapidly growing demand for economic information on multiple aspects of the agricultural sector and the fact our combined faculty have valuable expertise to help meet this demand for knowledge,” Glynn Tonsor, agricultural economist, said.  “Economists are perhaps in highest-demand in times like this. The large number of attendees have expressed thanks and noted benefits of this effort in several ways.”

The webinar series has been continued with additional dates and topics being added. A list of upcoming sessions and links to previous webinars can be found on the AgManger.info website.