NCGA: staying healthy is a priority as planting season begins
About 70 percent of farmers don’t have a formal back-up plan if a key member of the operation becomes ill with COVID-19, according to a recent survey of farmers.
National Corn Growers Association has advice for growers on some of the things they should consider as planting season gets underway.
Mark Lambert, communications director for NCGA, says growers should sit down with family members and employees and write a contingency plan.
“Do some brainstorming and really figure out what can you do and what are you currently doing to keep healthy, and what are you going to do if someone gets sick,” he says.
Other advice is to use best practices when accepting deliveries to minimize exposure of outsiders on the farm.
“Talk to the people about the deliveries in advance, set up a designated spot for the delivery and maybe even mark it with a sign,” he says. “If you need to be out there while they’re making the delivery, keep your distance.”
Lambert says other steps growers should consider include cross-training family members and employees, increasing sanitation of workspaces, making cleaning supplies available, and staying home if you’re sick.
“So much of this is common sense but it does go beyond that because this is something that nobody has dealt with probably in our lifetime so be smart, be safe, and do what you can to help others as we get through this,” he says. “That’s always been the spirit of the industry and I know that’s where we’ll see that happen as we get through this planting season.”
Audio: Mark Lambert, National Corn Growers Association