COVID-19 could lead to long-term changes in food and agriculture

An ag economist says the coronavirus pandemic will lead to some long-term changes in the agriculture industry.  

Purdue University’s Allan Gray says the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a renewed emphasis on deglobalization and local and regional supply chains.

“That’s making us think maybe we should have our supplies closer to home and maybe we should think about having our suppliers closer to home and it’s driving this deglobalization opinion we see in the markets,” he says.

Gray says he thinks contact-free practices will continue.

“First of all digital commerce- we knew that already and it’s been coming for awhile now,” he says. “Look at what we’re doing now in telemedicine and the other thing we see is automation.”

He says other changes could include more government intervention, more business scrutiny, industry structure shifts, and employment shifts.

Gray, director of Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the Land O’Lakes Chair in Food and Agribusiness, made these comments during an Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance webinar.

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