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Farmers facing COVID-19 impacts


OPEN FOR BUSINESS BUT NOT ON TUESDAY – Alan and Ben Mesman are a diversified dairy farm, selling milk and a variety of beef products. Like every farmer in the Skagit Valley, they are responding to economic conditions turned upside down by the COVID-19 virus pandemic.– Photo by Ken Stern

“Expected Returns on Most Northwest Ag Commodities Leveling Up” was the optimistic headline of Northwest Farm Credit’s quarterly Market Snapshot in January.

The April 2 Snapshot says that in sector after sector, forecasts now range from “variable profitability” to “unprofitable returns”.

“It’s all so new and changing so fast, it’s hard to get a clear picture,” said Don McMoran, director of the Washington State University Skagit County Extension. “It’s super clear that people are not buying flowers, bulbs or coming to the Tulip Festival, which is having a huge imp...

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