COVID-19 Daily Farmers Update 04/09/2020

— Written By

COVID-19 Daily Farmers Update 04/09/2020

News Today:

Strawberries Food Safety:

Educate your consumers how to clean and how not to clean produce: Two print out and social media signs:

Consumers should not use any chemical, wipes or acid to clean produce. COVID-19 is not a food borne illness, and washing produce under running water while keeping hand hygiene standards at all times  is sufficient to safely eat the product.

Strawberry U-Pick: 

Can other customers pick berries from the same row, after the first customer has left?  

Yes, it is safe for the customer to pick berries from the same row. All customers should obey hand hygiene regulations.

There is some evidence that the virus can stay airborne for up to 3 hours. Do I have to wait 3 hours before I can let staff or new customers into the field?  No, despite earlier recommendations, there is no risk to contract the virus through airborne particles. However, people which display disease symptoms should not be let into the field.

Update on Paycheck Protection Program:

AgCarolina Farm Credit, Cape Fear Farm Credit, and Carolina Farm Credit are not SBA approved lenders. We have been working through the approval process, as another way to offer our members additional support during these challenging times.

These groups are currently unable to process Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications at this time. We know these funds will not last long, so we are encouraging our members to reach out to their depository banks with any immediate needs.” – NCAGR

Please read here for further information on how to gain access to funding. Please also see PPP FAQ here.

March COVID-19 Survey:

Our survey from 3/22/2020 to 04/02/2020 showed that 71% of farms are very concerned that COVID-19 will affect their business negatively. Most farms have taken measures to adjust to the situation, from social distancing (25%), offering sanitation and protective gear (31%) to offering take-out only and online services (25%). Loss of income (31%), safety of customers and staff (23%) and impact on supply chains (15%) were of larger concern. Please see here the detailed survey results (pdf)

Daily COVID-19 Update as of 4/9/2020:

  • North Carolina (11:00 a.m.): 3,651 positive/ 65 deaths
  • USA: (8:21 p.m.): 462,135 positive/16,513 deaths
  • World (8:21 p.m.): 1,596,496 positive/ 95,506 deaths

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, put NC State Horticulture graduate students into the spotlight, provide insightful tips into the science of farming, seasonal recipes and many other things. Our first issue will come out at the end of April.

Other Helpful Resources:

COVID-19: Farming Resources, NC State Extension

Food Safety, NC State Extension

COVID-19 Resources and Information, NC State Extension

Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) COVID-19 Resources

NCDA&CS COVID-19 Resources and important Documents

This post was developed by Emma Volk (evolk@ncsu.edu) and Mark Hoffmann