COVID-19 Daily Farmers Update 3/31/2020

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COVID-19 Daily Farmers Update 3/31/2020

Important:

  • NCDA&CS Produce Availability for farmers affected by COVID-19
  • Tomorrow (Apr.1): Agent Training at 8:30 a.m.! CARES act Webinar at 2 p.m.
  • Friday (Apr.3): Farmers Training on Produce Safety
  • NEW: STRESS AND DEPRESSION HELP-LINE and RESOURCES

Take Our survey:

Please take our COVID-19 Survey. The survey will be closing Apr 2 at 1 p.m.. Please let us know how we can serve you the best. The survey is anonymous and will only take 3 min.

TAKE OUR COVID-19 SURVEY

NCDA&CS Important Information: Produce Availability

Important for farmers who lost access to markets due to COVID-19 market disruptions: The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is aware that farmers have seen disruptions in their normal distribution during this period of COVID-19 and social distancing. Retailers have seen panic buying patterns and are challenged to keep produce in stock and merchandised. If you are a NC grower of produce and looking to sell products that you don’t have a market for, we want to know. We will be compiling information, from NC growers, to distribute to major retailers on a weekly basis. This is not to be used as an alternate for markets that you already have. This service is set up to help those who don’t have markets to sell what they would normally. Call us weekly to update your availability and be listed in the distribution. This service will last until we no longer see a major need from the growers or interest from the retailers.

CLICK HERE for more information and phone numbers.

Important CARES Act Information

For those curious about how the $2 trillion stimulus package will affect the agricultural industry, please see the information provided by the Farm Bureau. 

There will be a webinar led by U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter and lobbyist Bill Redding on Wednesday, April 1, @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Their goal is to teach you more about the CARES act, and they will have time for questions and answers. REGISTER HERE.

Produce Safety Training For Farmers: Friday, Apr 3, 8:30 a.m.

Are you getting questions about cleaning and sanitizing from your customers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic? NCSU Cooperative Extension’s Produce Safety Team has put together a ZOOM workshop to talk about the issues around cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection for produce growers and to answer questions you may be having on these issues. Simply click on this link Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.. You will be prompted to download the Zoom software if you have not already done so. The meeting should last about an hour and there will be time for questions.

Produce Safety Training For Cooperative Extension Agents: Wednesday, Apr 1, 8:30 a.m.

The Produce Safety Team has put together an agent workshop to talk about the issues around cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection for produce growers and to answer questions you may be having on these issues. Here the zoom link.

Farm Stress Management

Several helpful pages with resources on managing farm stress are available. As times may be particularly stressful at the start of the growing season, pressure, negative thoughts, depression and stress in the wake of a pandemic can be quite overwhelming. 

Please use this resource to find helpful information.

New NC State COVID-Resources:

Fruit and Vegetable Producer Resources

Labor

Department of Labor COVID-19 Resource Page: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

Agricultural Essential work documentation (required for ag laborers under the state-issued COVID-19 order): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2EPrj3siRbaD0GRorIyygEKPUPHeyP7RHbY5uoh06g/edit?usp=sharing &

http://www.ncagr.gov/disaster/documents/COVID-19.htm

H-2A Update – State Department Increases Visa Waiver Capability: https://covid19.ces.ncsu.edu/2020/03/h-2a-update-state-department-increases-visa-waiver-capability/

Food Safety

The FDA postponed routine feed mill inspections during the pandemic. Please see the NCSU Extension article on what this means.

Our March 29, 2020 strawberry update detailed suggestions for health, safety, and organization for UPick operations during the pandemic. Please see these Strawberry UPick guidelines if you missed them on Sunday.

In addition to providing UPick, Community Garden, and Farmers Market Guidelines, NCSU extension has also released Farm Stand Guidelines. These documents are meant to help growers keep their employees, customers, volunteers, and selves safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Daily NC and Global COVID-19 Update

As of 3/31/2020, 9:05 a.m.: a total of 23,106 people in NC were tested for the virus. 1,498 people in NC were tested positive, 8 people have died in NC due to COVID-19.

NCDHHS Coronavirus Information Page

As of 3/31/2020, 7:49 p.m.: 857,487 people worldwide are known to be infected with the virus. 42,107 people worldwide have died due to COVID-19.

World-Wide Covid-19 GIS Tracker  

Newsletter

Please sign up for the NCSU Small Fruits newsletter. We highlight research from around the globe, shed light on the behind the scenes of extension,  highlight NC State Horticulture graduate students, provide insightful tips into farming, seasonal recipes and many other things. Our first issue will come out at the end of April, in time with the peak of strawberry season in NC.

This update was created by Emma Volk (evolk@ncsu.edu) and Mark Hoffmann