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How Produce Farmers are Feeling the Effects of the Pandemic

New AAEA member research released in AEPP

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many retail stores experienced shortages of certain fruits and vegetables because of the disruptions to farm labor and workers in processing. With major crop losses in lettuce, apples, and grapes, new research estimates up to $48 million in losses during this time.

In the new article “The Effects of COVID-19 on Fruit and Vegetable Production” William Ridley from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Stephen Devadoss from Texas Tech University explore COVID-19’s effects on fruit and vegetable production in light of the ongoing and widespread proliferation of the pandemic in the farm labor force.

Ridley says, “We estimate that disruptions to the labor force in fruit and vegetable production will cause millions of dollars in lost production, with the heaviest losses concentrated in large fruit- and vegetable-producing states such as California, Arizona, Washington, and others.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190