Ag News: Nursery Food Plants Soar and Ag Econ Barometer Plummets
**The pandemic has brought a sharp shift in demand at retail nurseries and garden centers.
Sales of landscaping plants have slumped, but sales of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and other edible plants have skyrocketed.
One nursery owner described sales of vegetable plants as "crazy--off the hook."
Nurseries say many of their sales have been to first-time gardeners who hope to avoid trips to the supermarket by growing more of their own food.
**Research from the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Germany shows that pigs and chickens are not susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Chief Veterinarian of the National Park Board, Dave Pyburn tells agweb.com, this is promising news for the U.S. pork industry.
The Institute started a few weeks ago with infection studies in pigs, chickens, fruit bats and ferrets.
Initial results show fruit bats and ferrets are susceptible to COVID-19 infection, but pigs and chickens are not.
**The Ag Economy Barometer plummeted in March, dipping 47 points, or 28%, from a month earlier to a reading of 121.
It was the largest one-month fall in the life of the index, which dates to October 2015.
Declines in ag commodity prices and concerns about the coronavirus weighed heavily on farmer sentiment.
This month's decline erased the improvement that took place this past fall and winter and remains unchanged from September’s reading.