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.