Quarterly Research Reports

The Quarterly, from the CoBank Knowledge Exchange, provides a broad view of the rural industries financed by CoBank.

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CoBank Quarterly: Clouds are Forming
July 2022

Fears of higher rates and weakening economic conditions
linger over the year’s second half.

The Quarterly: Adapting to Another Global Crisis
April 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought on a new set of economic conditions that are reshaping financial and commodity markets. For the remainder of 2022, global growth will be slower and most commodity prices higher than previously expected.

The Quarterly: Omicron Upends Supply Chain Recovery
January 2022

Against all hope for a better start to 2022, omicron has crashed the New Year’s party. Renewed supply chain disruptions are being felt throughout the economy, causing empty shelves again and threatening to fan the flames of inflation.

The Quarterly: Adapting to Persistent Supply Disruptions
October 2021

Businesses of all sizes and across most industries are wrestling with perhaps the worst supply chain bottlenecks to date

The Quarterly: A Long Tail—Pandemic After-Effects are Just Beginning
July 2021

The long-awaited period of pent-up, exuberant demand is here. And for all the benefits to businesses and consumers, bumps are unavoidable – labor shortages, price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about what a new steady-state economy will look like. They loom large, even as we celebrate a return to normalcy.

The Quarterly: We’re Not Going Back to Pre-COVID Conditions
April 2021

Anticipation of a return to normal is in the air. But for the economy and rural industries, there will be no going back to pre-COVID conditions.

The Quarterly: New Year Optimism Confronts the Pandemic
January 2021

2021 has quickly altered the political and market landscape. And optimism, particularly about the second half of the year, is rising. But to get there, all of us must muddle through for a few months more.

The Quarterly: The Fragile Recovery is About to be Tested
October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now impacted all four quarters of 2020, and seemingly every aspect of life and business. 

The Quarterly: Rural Industries Adapt to Coronavirus Reality
July 2020

Over the past four months, every rural industry has grappled with how to adjust its business to remain relevant and sustainable in the pandemic. Agricultural supply chains have been massively disrupted and lost revenue. Water and power suppliers have adapted as commercial and industrial customers went dark and demand shifted to residential customers. And the communications industry is seizing a moment when home broadband access has become vividly essential, to help expand access to everyone, everywhere.

The Quarterly: Keeping Us Connected, Our Lights On, and Our Pantries Full
April 2020

The beginning of a new quarter finds us in unparalleled times – a pandemic ravaging the world, the U.S. economy in shutdown, millions of Americans out of work, and financial markets in turmoil. 

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade Resolutions Boost Optimism for a New Year
December 2019

The fourth quarter is ending with much more optimism on trade and the economy compared to how it began. 

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade Remains the Focus as Tariffs Take Toll on Agriculture
October 2019

Uncertainty over trade policy, weather and African Swine Fever dominated agricultural markets last quarter.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Stalled Trade Talks, Record Rains Upend Agriculture
June 2019

Global economic growth continues to slide, as tariffs drag on global trade and manufacturing.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Agriculture Still Waiting For Relief
March 2019

U.S. agriculture is poised for serious challenges for the remainder of 2019.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Agriculture Limps into 2019
December 2018

Agriculture and its farmer cooperatives will face a challenging environment in 2019. Commodity markets have steadied, but resolution of ongoing trade disputes and completion of recently concluded trade negotiations will be critical to restoring optimism for the year ahead.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Rising Output Compressing Agricultural Margins
October 2018

The escalating trade war with China is the leading risk for U.S. agriculture. Retaliatory actions taken by China and other trading partners have raised concerns of long lasting effects on agricultural supply chains. 

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade War Rhetoric Shifts to Reality
June 2018

The risk of an escalating trade war is the greatest threat to the U.S. and agricultural economies in the near term. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports are sold to destinations that are under active negotiations or embroiled in trade disputes.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Trade War Risks Loom Over Agriculture
March 2018

An impending trade war, continued large global supplies, and negotiations over a new farm bill and tax extenders continue to present challenges for U.S. agriculture and farmer cooperatives. Reduced harvests in Argentina and potential droughts in some parts of the U.S. have steadied grain and oilseed market prices but there remains a potential for significant volatility.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Agriculture Contends with Large Supplies and Trade Uncertainties
December 2017

Uncertainties over U.S. trade policies have made some foreign buyers reexamine their supply chain dependency on U.S. products and provided an opportunity for U.S. competitors to aggressively pursue bilateral trade agreements.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Unrelenting Abundance
October 2017

The U.S. dollar has weakened roughly 10 percent from its recent high, benefiting U.S. exporters. But U.S. economic growth will be difficult to sustain beyond 2.5 percent.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: New Crop Potential and Trade Uncertainties Driving Markets
June 2017

The grain industry continues to grapple with large inventories. Strong demand and pockets of weather concerns, however, give reason for optimism.

Quarterly US Rural Economic Review: Mounting Oversupplies and Trade Uncertainties Roiling the Agricultural Markets
March 2017

The U.S. is now the epicenter of global uncertainty, amidst questions and concerns about the direction of its economic, trade, and foreign policies.