COVID-19 Daily Farmers and Strawberry Update 3/23/2020

— Written By

COVID-19 Daily Farmers and Strawberry Update 3/23/2020

Dear strawberry and farming community,

Covid-19 is affecting every farming and agritourism business in NC. Internet connectivity can play a large role being able to utilize web based solutions and resources, and may be a key to staying profitable over a time of uncertainty. The North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office is surveying internet connectivity status  especially in farming communities to inform policy and assist communities. 

Daily NC and Global COVID-19 Update:

As of 3/23/2020, 1:30 p.m.: a total of 8,438 people in NC were tested for the virus. 297 people in NC were tested positive. Until now, NC has no COVID-19 related deaths

NCDHHS Coronavirus Information Page

As of 3/23/2020, 6:16 p.m.: 375,458 people worldwide are known to be infected with the virus. 16,371 people worldwide have died due to COVID-19.

World-Wide Covid-19 GIS Tracker  

Internet Connectivity Survey NC Farm Bureau:

The North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office, with the Friday Institute at NC State University, is conducting a five-minute survey to gather data on internet connectivity from North Carolina farmers. The survey was developed in part from information gathered during NC Farm Bureau Federation listening sessions conducted with local farmers and agriculture partners. The data will be used to inform research, policy and funding recommendations to assist communities where internet access is inadequate. The current survey will run until April 30. This survey is meant to be taken only by farmers, or their employees, about their farms. LINK to the Survey: NC State Internet Connectivity Survey 

General questions about the Internet Connectivity Survey for NC Farmers can go to Angie Bailey, Broadband Infrastructure Office: angie.bailey@nc.gov, 919-817-0541. 

Our survey:

Please take our COVID-19 Survey. This is important to us in such a situation. No-one of us has ever experienced something like this before nor were we prepared. We need to know what you think, so that we can respond better to this emergency. The survey is anonymous and will only take 3 min.

TAKE OUR COVID-19 SURVEY

H2-A Labor:

As of now, visas won’t be issued. However, the government is aware of the priority of H2-A labor and is working on H2-A visas. The USDA has set up a special email to address any concerns regarding H2-A labor: aglabor@usda.gov

Webinars and Videos:

The University of Illinois has launched a COVID-19 webinar series. They meet every Tuesday and Friday from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. EST with guest speakers, and they discuss a range of topics.

A list of webinars from University of Illinois can be found here.

Iowa Learning Farms will lead weekly webinars in order to replace their canceled extension events. They will stream their webinars over Zoom every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Many workshops and extension events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you are in need of a refresher on pruning techniques or other practices, here are a few helpful links:

NC State Strawberry Program Youtube Channel

NC State Horticulture youtube channel

NC State Extension youtube channel

Strawberry online and self-help resources:

While we are all only an email or phonecall away, there is a chance that the coming weeks and probably months, face-to-face interactions will be reduced, and in the worst case scenario, help won’t be there when needed. Strawberry specific self-help tools might be able mitigate some of the problems on the farm:

NC State Strawberry Diagnostic Tool Please use this tool to identify problems in the field.

Fungicide Resistance Testing at UGA Test gray-mold for fungicide resistance at UGA.

myIPM Smartphone App Download the myIPM smartphone app in google store or apple store to identify disease and pest problems and to find out how to manage them.

Strawberry Management Guide (Southern Small Fruits Consortium)

NC State Anthracnose and Botrytis risk assessment tool This weather based prediction tool helps to assess important spray applications.

Financial Farming Resources:

Please find potential financial farming resources also on the NC State Horticulture COVID-19 Farming Resources page.

Ag Americas COVID-19 Blog Ag Americas Covid-19 blog 

Meals for kids during school closures

COVID-19 Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

The Community Foundation of Western NC Emergency and Disaster Response Fund

Outer Banks Community Foundation Rapid Response Grants

 RAFI USA gives small grants to NC farms that are affected by COVID-19

Links from Saturday’s COVID-19 Update:

SBA Disaster Relief Loans Now Available in NC

Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

3 Step Process for Getting SBA Disaster Loans

NCDOR issues a limited-waiver of certain penalties on failure to file or pay a tax due between March 14, 2020 and March 31, 2020

Important Notice: NC Department of Revenue Provides Penalty Relief to Persons Affected by COVID-19 

N.C. 2-1-1 (Helps families and individuals find information and resources in their community.  (Health Tips

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog FAQ’s for Employers

Prepared by Emma Volk (evolk@ncsu.edu) and Mark Hoffmann