The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on people’s health and the economy is unprecedented in most of our lifetime. It is projected the outbreak will ultimately impact the health of hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions. The financial impact to the economy will likely take years to recover. Local, state, and the federal governments are continuing to adapt to the situation. The full impact to agriculture is unknown, but a look at the commodity markets is telling. Below is a graph of major commodity futures’ prices impacted between Jan 2 – May 21.
More analysis about the impact of the coronavirus to the farm economy can be found at this link.
Federally, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which was signed into law on March 27 includes relief for individuals, businesses, farms, and other action items beneficial to rural America. The $2 trillion bill includes recovery rebates based upon income – cash payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 per couple plus $500 per child. These payments are based on 2019 tax returns or 2018 tax returns if 2019 information is not available. The payments start phasing out for those with income above $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household (often single parents) and $150,000 for married couples. For those with no children, the payment disappears at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples. There are also specific items related to agriculture – more information about this can be found here.