The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2022

By Brian Cavey , Brian Earnest , Tanner Ehmke , Rob Fox , Thomas Halverson , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski , Christina Pope and Teri Viswanath

December 9, 2021

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still in control of the economy. However, labor and supply chain challenges should improve slowly through the year, while cost inflation will continue to burden the U.S. and farm economies. Agricultural trade uncertainty, grid-edge technology, and telecom infrastructure spending are also key themes we explore in our look ahead to 2022.


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U.S. Farm Economy

Increased Costs and Trade Battle with China to Tighten Farm Margins in 2022

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Grain, Farm Supply, Biofuels

Inflation, Volatility Create Mixed Outlook

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Animal Protein

Lean Supplies, Strong Demand Bolster Prices Despite Export Unknowns

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Producer Margins to Improve, but Logistics Hinder Exports

And also

  • The U.S. Economy: Labor and Supply Chains to Improve, Inflation Might Not
  • U.S. Government: Spending, Partisan Control Will Dominate 2022
  • Specialty Crops: Sector Squeezed by Labor, Drought, Transportation
  • Rural Electricity: Managing on the Grid-Edge
  • Rural Communications: As Government Money Flows, Competition Heats Up the Cable Market

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is not intended to be investment, tax, or legal advice and should not be relied upon by recipients for such purposes. The information contained in this report has been compiled from what CoBank regards as reliable sources. However, CoBank does not make any representation or warranty regarding the content, and disclaims any responsibility for the information, materials, third-party opinions, and data included in this report. In no event will CoBank be liable for any decision made or actions taken by any person or persons relying on the information contained in this report.


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