The South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team has compiled a list of articles that we think may be useful to dairy producers and their service providers as we all navigate the COVID-19 situation. Please stay safe and reach out to our team if you have questions or need help finding information. We are here to help with tools and resources to support all of the normal day-to-day dairy and field crop management considerations, in addition to emerging topics related to COVID-19.
You can find additional COVID-19 Management Resources for dairy producers on the Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY website.
Health, Safety and COVID-19 Prevention
By Mary Kate Wheeler, Cornell Cooperative Extension South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team
To manage the human risks associated with COVID-19, every farm operator should be thinking about two things right now: prevention and contingency planning. This article addresses prevention, otherwise known as “biosecurity for people.” Use these seven steps as a guide to develop your own biosecurity program aimed at keeping your farm workforce safe, healthy and productive.
By Libby Eiholzer, CCE Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Team, and Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly across the world. Although cities have the most sick people, the disease has reached rural communities of New York as well. Everyone needs to take this very seriously. Agriculture is an essential business, so many of us will continue to go to work. However, we all need to take precautions to stay safe and help prevent further spread of the disease. We’ve prepared a new resource to help Spanish- and English-speaking farm employees access credible, multi-lingual information that they can use right away.
National Milk Producers Federation
Dairy farms are 24-hour, 7-day per week business and operations must continue. Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) precautions will minimize the risk to dairy farmers, family, employees and essential professional and service providers to be on the farm.
Print and post this infographic where your farm workers can see it to inform them about the coronavirus and the steps they should take to protect themselves and their coworkers at the dairy.
Imprima y publique esta infografía donde los trabajadores de su granja puedan verla para informarles sobre el coronavirus y los pasos que deben seguir para protegerse a sí mismos y a sus compañeros de trabajo en la lechería.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of COVID-19 with insufficient resources and workers who might not be adequately trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions.
Economic Impacts and Policy Response
By Andrew Novacovic, PhD, Cornell University and Mark Stephenson, PhD, University of Wisconsin
National experts on dairy markets Andrew Novakovic and Mark Stephenson discuss the implications of COVID-19 on consumer demand, dairy processing, and prices. Andy is a Cornell University Professor of Agriculture Economics Emeritus, and Mark is the Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin. They share their thoughts on what dairy operators should be thinking about now, and how they can prepare for a possible low price cycle.
By Andrew Novacovic, PhD, Cornell University
USDA’s official, consensus forecast for agricultural markets, known as the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, was released on April 9. This article shares and interprets the WASDE analysis of dairy markets, as of early April.
By Andrew Novacovic, PhD, Cornell University
This memo provides an update on financial assistance provided by the federal government through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), including an overview of the program and estimates of the direct payments that dairy farmers might receive.
By Michael Baker, PhD, Beef Cattle Management Program, Cornell University
What we know as of 3/30/2020: JBS in Souderton, PA closed due to confirmation of two COVID-19 cases. About 75% of their daily harvest was devoted to finished cattle and 25% to cull cows and bulls. Recently Cargill in Wyalusing, PA made the decision to only process cull cows and bulls. As of the date of this writing they are still in operation.
By Richard Stup and Elizabeth Higgins, Cornell University
Both the U.S. and New York governments passed COVID-19 related legislation in recent weeks affecting employee leave from work. These programs are designed to protect jobs and provide additional sources of income for employees and their families during the current pandemic. This post is intended to help clarify the new federal and state programs and how they interact with each other.
By Elizabeth Higgins, Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Hort Team
The recent CARES Act provided additional emergency funding through Small Business Administration (SBA) for businesses who are facing losses due to COVID-19. If you are a farm business, the most important program to be aware of right now is the Paycheck Protection Loan Program, which was authorized in the CARES Act. Farms that meet SBA small business thresholds are eligible to apply for this low interest, forgivable loan program.
Dairy Farm Business Management
By Dr. Bob Milligan, LearningEdge Monthly
I have been visiting with clients and colleagues and thinking about how to respond to our COVID-19 crisis. My wife and I are hunkered down as we are among the vulnerable and are in position to isolate. This issue is a series of short articles focused around what I think are the three keys to navigating this crisis. They are: Leadership, Planning, Communication and Collaboration.
Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development, and Jason Karszes, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY
This webinar discusses steps that dairy managers should consider to protect their workforce, their business and their markets. Topics include: why prevention of the coronavirus/COVID-19 is important, steps that employers should take to protect employees, animal health considerations, what to do if service providers are not available, disaster contingency plans, cross-training of employees who can fill other roles, business resources for employers, and pending federal and state legislation related to coronavirus and employees.
By Professor Wayne Knoblauch and Jason Karszes, Cornell PRO-DAIRY
This is a revised Do’s and Don’ts list for dairy farmers during times of financial stress that was originally published back in 2018. With the increasing likelihood of considerable financial stress in agriculture this year, this might be an easy read to help focus on some critical things as different decision need to be made.
By Christopher Wolf, PhD, Cornell University
Before news of coronavirus became widespread, the futures markets showed signs that 2020 would be a recovery year for the dairy industry. Class III milk futures were between $17.75 and $18.25 per hundredweight from February through December 2020. However, milk futures fell as the coronavirus spread. As of April 6, Class III futures for May had fallen to $12.58 per hundredweight. In this article, Christopher Wolf, Cornell University Professor of Applied Economics, discusses the various price risk management options available to dairy producers in the context of COVID-19.
By Jason Karszes, Lauren Hill and Wayne Knoblauch, Cornell Dairy Farm Business Summary & Analysis Program
This is the third Progress Report summarizing Selected Financial and Production Factors with data from 135 NY farms who participated in the 2019 Dairy Farm Business Summary. The report presents averages from all farms, and from four different sub-groups based on herd size: less than 450 cows, 450 to 899 cows, 900 to 1,399 cows, and greater than 400 cows.
Stress Management and Mental Health
By Jan Kirshenbaum, MSW, NY FarmNet Consultantand Kate Downes, NY FarmNet Outreach Director
Whatever our age, a life-altering event can leave us hoping there is some magical cure that will help us feel less bad: “If only I read the right book/ hear the right sermon/ go to the right workshop, I can learn how to feel less bad.” Unfortunately, no magic exists in this situation. Amplifying our fears is the fact that the ultimate “grown-ups”—the President, governors, hospital administrators—are telling us there will be no quick solutions to this situation, and it may get worse before it gets better. Taking all of that into consideration, there are a few things to keep in mind.
By Ed Staehr, Executive Director, NY FarmNet
Current economic uncertainty related to COVID-19 is resulting in stress for many farmers. Normal consumer patterns of expenditures on food away from home have been altered, as restaurants are limiting service to take out and consumers are staying home. For the dairy industry, consumers are purchasing more fluid milk; however, this may not fully offset reduced demand in cheese utilized by restaurants and milk provided by schools. Stress cannot be avoided; nonetheless, one can take steps to identify stressors and manage them by putting together a plan for the future.
Latest posts by Mary Kate Wheeler (see all)
- Identifying Risk is the First Step to Managing It - June 29, 2020
- Farm Management Education Supports Data-Driven Decision Making - April 23, 2020
- From our Team to Yours: COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers - April 7, 2020
- Biosecurity for People: 7 Steps to Protect Farm Workers from COVID-19 - March 28, 2020
- Regional Team Operations During COVID-19 - March 25, 2020