New farm income report by Swenson

May 22, 2020

David SwensonDavid Swenson, associate scientist, authored a new new report, "Farm Income in Iowa" outlining trends, characteristics, and dynamics of farm income in Iowa.

"Iowa farmers have endured distressingly low farm incomes in recent years. Reduced returns to operating agricultural enterprises have consequences for not just rural Iowa, but for the state as a whole."

Swenson was also quoted in a May 20 Muscatine Journal story, "Farmers remain optimistic as planting season winds down."

Dave Swenson, an economist and professor at Iowa State University, said the $16 billion is for the entire country and it is too early to know how much of that financial relief will go to Iowa farmers.

“This is a program that nicely extends to all farmers," Swenson said. "For the most part, government programs really specialize in assisting commodity crops so in this case it really broadens the base of assistance than what was oftentimes the case in previous legislation. It is not targeted to any specific sector.”

In a May 22 Des Moines Register story, "Iowa's unemployment rate soars to 10.2%, its highest level on record."

Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson said the state won't bring back jobs at pre-coronavirus levels until health officials can vaccinate most residents. Fear of the virus will still keep people out of shops and restaurants.

"The economy can’t get back to the level it was prior to the pandemic until it has a healthy workforce, until the workforce isn’t threatened," he said.

In a May 27 Des Moines Register story, "Des Moines metro's unemployment rate triples as COVID-19 shutdowns take a toll."

With a few exceptions, the April unemployment rates for Iowa's metro areas were likely records, said David Swenson, an economist at Iowa State University. And Swenson said May's unemployment rates could go higher yet, given Iowans' slow return to work, especially in the hospitality industry.

Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Raido, about Iowa's April unemployment rate.

Robert Connolly, Quad City Times, about reaction to Deere and Company’s secon quarter earnings report.

Gaspard Le Dem, The Well News, about the ethanol industry, the effects of the pandemic on it and corn farmers in the Midwest.