More than four of every 10 rural households reported financial setbacks ranging from a shorter workweek to losing a business because of the coronavirus, said a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health on Wednesday. The survey, conducted from July 1-Aug. 3, also found that a quarter of rural households were unable to get medical care for a serious problem when they needed it due to the pandemic.
Farmers, in overwhelming numbers, said they would vote to re-elect President Trump this fall, but the landslide margin was smaller than in April, according to a telephone survey by DTN/Progressive Farmer.
The government's coronavirus relief programs are an important shield for farmers and ranchers battling a sharp drop in income in the central Plains, ag lenders said in a Kansas City Fed survey released on Thursday. A similar survey of ag bankers in the Midwest by the Chicago Fed "revealed the broad financial distress from the Covid-19 pandemic in rural areas."
The coronavirus "dealt an economically devastating hand to nearly the whole country," but job losses were smaller and shutdowns were shorter in rural America, said rural lender CoBank in a quarterly report. "Economic recovery may now favor rural communities for the first time in many years."(No paywall)
Grocery delivery is nothing new, and it certainly has become much more common since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But for stores like Michigan Hometown Foods, which is the lone grocery in a town of 275 people, the process looks a lot different than it does in a larger city, as Stephanie Parker reports in FERN latest story.(No paywall)
Covid-19 cases have been reported in more than two-thirds of rural counties, said a report by Senate Democrats, who called for nationwide rapid-response testing for the coronavirus and for expansion of high-speed internet to maintain commerce and healthcare in rural areas. (No paywall)
The federal government could provide 40 percent of U.S. farm income this year, according to one analysis of the coronavirus relief funds. President Trump said at least $16 billion will be available "very quickly" for the farm sector.(No paywall)
Fifteen percent of rural Americans surveyed in the past week said they had either lost their job or were laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic, and an additional 14 percent said they were worried they would lose their jobs, according to the results of a survey released on Thursday. (No paywall)
Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, a conservative Democrat in a Republican-leaning district, announced he would seek re-election in November, saying he was worried rural America is being left behind. President Trump has endorsed a Republican challenger against Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, in a contest that is regarded as a toss-up.