Coronavirus pandemic could cost CA farmers up to $8.6 billion

Agriculture is a key economic driver in Northern California, but a report out by the California Farm Bureau Federation gives a grim economic outlook for farmers.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 6:16 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 11:18 AM

DURHAM, Calif. - Agriculture is a key economic driver in Northern California, but a report out by the California Farm Bureau Federation gives a grim economic outlook for farmers.

Action News Now visited Kimmelshue Orchards in Durham to ask the owner how the pandemic is affecting his business.

Dax Kimmelshue is a fifth-generation farmer, he grows almonds, beans, and walnuts.

"We have a big almond crop right now. It's on the trees, which is good, farmers like big crops," Kimmelshue said.

Kimmelshue admits he has a high supply of crops but demand is down.

"But the price is dropping, significantly. 2020 crop is yet to be determined but it doesn't look good," Kimmelshue said.

Kimmelshue is not alone in the struggle, the California Farm Bureau Federation released a report saying the coronavirus could cost California farmers between $5.9 billion and $8.6 billion just this year alone.

The report blames the gloomy financial outlook to abrupt shifts in purchasing patterns in export, constriction in restaurants and higher production costs for farmers.

The study looked at 15 different agricultural sectors from the beginning of the pandemic until early May.

Kimmelshue says his business is feeling the impact of all of that.

"We're such a world economy now. You have to have these export markets and when other countries are having trouble and we're having trouble, it affects farming," Kimmelshue said, referencing the many economic shutdowns across the world.

Kimmelshue adds that in a strong economy he would usually buy new equipment, but he's holding his cash because he doesn't know what kind of conditions the pandemic might create.

"It's something totally different, but you learn as you're moving along," Kimmelshue said.

The farm bureau says since the beginning of the pandemic, farmers have already lost $2 billion, due to the coronavirus.

The report also points out that farmers are having to spend extra money to protect its employees from coronavirus exposure.

If you would like to view the full report from the California Farm Bureau Federation, CLICK HERE.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3566914

Reported Deaths: 52158
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119192321435
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2866072874
Orange2612203917
San Diego2600913284
Santa Clara1106211777
Kern102627827
Fresno953931443
Sacramento932811472
Alameda806681242
Ventura77623844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62248681
Stanislaus56132946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38998515
San Francisco34260412
Santa Barbara31805411
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28141298
Imperial26903591
Kings21955218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15467209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12834185
Shasta10985174
Butte10962160
El Dorado9095100
Napa903869
Sutter884597
San Benito576759
Yuba573337
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada396074
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador346341
Humboldt318033
Lake315641
Glenn222523
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 64°
Oroville
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 67°
Chico
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 64°
Red Bluff
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 66°
Red Bluff
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 66°
Chico
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 64°
We've got a sunny & warm forecast ahead this week but a good chance for some rain (finally!) by the end of the week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events