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  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Cornell Craft Beverage Institute
  • Animal Science
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Agriculture
  • Organic
  • Food
  • Applied Economics
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create disruptions and hardships on individuals, families, communities and businesses throughout New York state.

In this series of nine discussion papers, Cornell CALS experts seek to provide perspectives and insights on the impact of COVID-19 to selected agricultural sectors. Their goals are to assist in bringing a greater understanding of the effects of immediate and sustained disruptions in the farm and food system on the agricultural economy and assist in highlighting lessons learned to strengthen the food system going forward. For more information, please contact Julie Suarez, associate dean for Land-Grant Affairs.

Below the paper download button, see a brief overview of paper topics.

Table of contents

Dr. David Just, Professor, and Anne Byrne, Doctoral Candidate, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

The unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular the economic consequences of the massive public health response, had a dramatic impact on the prevalence of food insecurity around the country and in New York. 

Dr. Richard Stup, Agricultural Workforce Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
COVID-19 cast a bright light on weaknesses and vulnerabilities in New York’s farm workforce.


Dr. Chris Wolf, Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
The US dairy industry entered 2020 fairly well balanced and the farm milk price outlook was optimistic. The sharp consumption changes when the COVID-19 pandemic struck had major effects on dairy products and prices.

Dr. Bradley Rickard, Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University and Mark Wiltberger, Business Management Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
For fruit and vegetable markets, the effects of COVID-19 were not uniform across all individual fruit and vegetable items, and varied depending on many factors including seasonality, international trade, convenience and ease of preparation considerations, fresh and processed products, and relative prices.

Dr. Anusuya Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farms Program, Erica Frenay, Livestock Specialist, Cornell Small Farms Program, Cornell CALS
Demand for local meat products has skyrocketed since March 2020. Simultaneously, producers’ ability to get their animals processed at a USDA facility has emerged as a bottleneck in the local meat supply chain, resulting in financial losses for farmers and questions about the resiliency of the state’s processing infrastructure.

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
The COVID-19 pandemic, while devastating to many agricultural sectors, was mixed for local food producers in New York.

Elizabeth Higgins, Business Management Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Many floriculture growers suffered devastating losses this spring when the state-mandated business closures and restrictions on public gatherings also resulted in their businesses being forced to close, despite crops actively growing.    

Dr. Chris Gerling, Cornell Craft Beverage Institute
Craft beverage businesses broadly include a number of sectors, from agriculture to hospitality to tourism. Each of these sectors has seen different impacts from the pandemic and faced varying levels of disruption.

Dr. Lindsay Goodale, Equine Extension Associate & Lecturer, Cornell CALS
Although the equine industry in NYS is diverse, the COVID-19 pandemic has struck an economic blow to each of [its] sectors.

Julie Suarez, Associate Dean for Land-Grant Affairs, Robert Smith, Associate Director, Cornell CALS
Throughout the pandemic CALS and CCE have focused on assisting all parts of the food chain, from farmer to consumer with adoption of best practices, strategies and technical assistance that make a real-life difference in maintaining healthy workplaces and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Header image: Mcmahon's EZ Acres dairy farm in Homer, NY. Photo by Maddie Skillies.

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