Northwest Iowa — There are some that think that the COVID-19 pandemic will have an effect on spring planting, and therefore it could affect the food supply.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Crop Field Specialist Joel De Jong says he doesn’t think there will be a direct link, but . . .
(as said:)”Planting is going to happen. I don’t think there’s much doubt. I don’t think it’s going to keep farmers from getting in the field. I think in most cases most farmers are working with family members. And so they’re already in contact with each other. That’s kind of their circle of contact. On top of that a lot of the practices actually they can keep some social distance. So they probably can still protect themselves to quite a decent degree if they if they’re doing that. The question I’ve got and I’m not sure about would be, is the supply line going to continue to be filled? Will we have problems getting the products we need to actually get planting started? Will this COVID-19 cause a problem on the supply line for the crop production? My guess is a lot of it’s already in place. It needs to go out to the farming operations and get there. So I think it might be a limited impact unless we get a lot of people that actually show up with the virus themselves.”
And De Jong says if a farmer comes down with COVID-19, in this area, at least, you can probably count on fellow farmers lending a hand and planting their crop for them. He says that’s just what we do here.
(as said:)”Yeah, that’s definitely true. And I think if that situation comes up that’s probably going to happen, you know, but it’s nice in the ag sector. It’s not like being in a factory where they’re working shoulder to shoulder all the time in many cases. We have a limited number of people in that circle. And so I think that helps protect us also.”
Corn in northwest Iowa is normally planted in mid-April through mid-May if weather and soil conditions are fit. Soybeans are normally planted just a touch later, around the first of May.