The Effect of the Opioid Crisis on the Farm Sector: Implications from the Rural Economy

Project: Research project


The overall objective of this project is to determine how the opioid epidemic is affecting the farm economy in the United States. In general, we consider three possible pathways for this effect.
• Our first objective is to determine whether the opioid crisis affects the combination of outputs produced by farm firms.
• The second objective is to determine whether the opioid crisis produces a change in the distribution of farm income at the county level. This objective focuses on the significance of smaller farmers (e.g., lifestyle and/or limited resource farms).
• The third object is to examine whether recent weaknesses in agricultural prices contribute to the opioid epidemic. Historically, drug use declines as the economy improves. Thus, a decline in farm income such as the one the U.S. Farm Sector has experience since 2014 may further increase the use of opioids, further compounding the effect of the opioid crisis.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/21


  • University of Florida (SUB00001814//2019-67023-29347)
  • Department of Agriculture (SUB00001814//2019-67023-29347)


Rural economy
Farm income
Small farmers
Agricultural prices
Drug use