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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (12): 2903-2915    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63443-8
Section 2: Livestock production and marketing Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dairy industry: Lessons from China and the United States and policy implications
Qingbin WANG1, LIU Chang-quan2, ZHAO Yuan-feng3, Anthony KITSOS4, Mark CANNELLA4, WANG Shu-kun2, HAN Lei2
1 Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA
2 Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, P.R.China
3 College of Economics and Management, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010018, P.R.China
4 UVM Extension, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA
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The purposes of this study are to assess the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the dairy industries in China and the United States and to derive policy recommendations for enhancing the diary industries’ resilience to pandemics and other market shocks.  Specifically, data from the two nations are used to analyze and compare the mechanisms through which the pandemic has affected their dairy industries and to discuss potential lessons from their experiences.  The findings suggest that this pandemic has heavily affected the dairy industries in both China and the United States through similar mechanisms, such as decreased farmgate milk prices, disruption and difficulties of moving milk within the supply chains, worker shortages, increased production costs, and lack of operating capital.  There were also significant differences in the affecting mechanisms between the two nations, including transportation difficulties from widespread road closures and significant reduction in holiday sales of dairy products in China, and the shutdown of many dairy processors in the United States due to the closing of schools, restaurants, and hotels.  While government financial reliefs are highly needed to help many dairy farms and processors survive this pandemic in the short term, the dairy industries and governments need to work together to develop long-term strategies and policies to balance the industries’ efficiency and flexibility, product specialization and diversification, supply chain integration and local food systems, and market mechanisms and policy regulations and interventions. 
Keywords:  impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic        dairy industry        China        the United States  
Received: 18 May 2020   Accepted:
Fund: The authors would like to thank the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Vermont, USA, and earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-36) for financial support of this study.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LIU Chang-quan, Mobile: +86-13811556257, Fax: +86-10-65137559, E-mail:   
About author:  Qingbin WANG, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Qingbin WANG, LIU Chang-quan, ZHAO Yuan-feng, Anthony KITSOS, Mark CANNELLA, WANG Shu-kun, HAN Lei. 2020. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dairy industry: Lessons from China and the United States and policy implications. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(12): 2903-2915.

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