Farming and COVID 19

In farming and ranching, we already live a more self-contained life from the main population. But we aren’t immune to the effects and aftershocks of COVID 19.

Farmers have two critical times of year, planting and harvest. Planting began in the southern states in February. Our planting season in Northern, IL typically starts 35-40 days from now. We would hope to be in the fields before that for tillage, fertilizing and spraying. How will COVID 19 affect our future crop?

Honestly, does anybody know? Even with quarantine and self-distancing, farmers will need to keep farming. Animals need to be cared for and crops need to be planted. On our farm, our staff is small and we can still work on a safe level. What we do doesn’t involve a ton of person to person interaction with people outside of our farm.

The main thing that will hinder whether or not we can get our crop planted is if we can get the supplies we need. We have a small window to plant our crops and we’ll need a constant supply of fuel, seed, fertilizer, etc. If those things aren’t able to be delivered and if we can’t go get them ourselves, we will be put to a standstill.

The other implication that will affect us greatly are the commodity markets. Everything in the market has been down and took big hits last week. But this is something we as farmers have never been able to control and there’s always been volatility in it.

Nothing like this has happened in our parent’s lifetimes or even our grandparent’s lifetimes, but we will get through it like we do anything else that is thrown at us. Focus on the things that you can control and do your best with what you know. Try your best not to stress over the things you cannot control and keep pushing towards the future.