by, Mike Estadt, Agriculture Extension Educator in Pickaway County
The State of Ohio is starting the process of opening for business this week. Farms across Ohio never closed. With developments recently with the food processing chain breaking down due to the COVID-19 virus one can easily see why it is vitally important to have contingency plans for disruptions to your business no matter how big or small.
Have you given serious thought to what would happen to your farm or agricultural business if you or a key employee(s) were to become ill due to the coronavirus or for that matter any health related event that would prevent you from getting your crop planted, managed through the growing season or harvested in the fall?
In response to this scenario Dr. Dee Jepsen, State Safety Program Leader and Lisa Pfeifer, Educational Program Manager, Agricultural Safety & Health have authored a white paper entitled “Navigating COVID-19 on the Farm” with some excellent ideas and daily best management practices to mitigate risks on your farm. This paper can be found at: https://u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/2020/04/23/navigating-covid-19-on-the-farm-best-practices-for-daily-management-of-s-and-people/anitation-deliveries-equipment-repairs
Another great supporting document that should be part of every farm, nursery, and ranch is an operational plan in the case of an emergency. Quite often the details of complicated farm operations are known only be one person, the farmer. Tyler Williams, Cropping Systems Extension Educator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has developed two comprehensive fillable Word documents for row crop and cow-calf producers available at: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2020/farm-operations-plans