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elbanditoroso's avatar

Agricultural question: Is COVID-19 likely to affect the spring planting of crops in the US and around the world?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30570points) March 20th, 2020

Here in the south, it’s almost planting time – not so much in the North.

Is the coronavirus threat (and actually the health of the agricultural workers spreading seed for crops) likely to have an effect on planting – and by extension, the available veggies and fruits that will be harvested several months from now?

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5 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My neighbor’s crops will be going in as scheduled.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m guessing some crops might be affected if tourist visas and temporary work visas aren’t being approved. I have no idea if the new actions by the government are affecting temporary work visas. I mention the tourist visas, because some cross the border legally with tourist visas, but then work illegally. I think most crops will be planted and harvested as usual. Some crops are not planted like citrus, apples, and many others. they are just cared for. That’s my guess anyway.

KNOWITALL's avatar

There will be no delays here in Missouri.

longgone's avatar

Yes, it’s very likely. It would take planning now to avert future issues.

The many farmhands working hard for ridiculous compensation cannot afford to stay home when they feel sick. In many places, they are transported by the truckload to whatever farm needs them the most. No social distancing happening there. And if they entered the country illegally, they can’t get tested or treated.

So basically, they won’t be able to follow the recommended practices. Chances are good that the virus will spread exponentially among those groups, but remain undetected. This could result in a high amount of critically ill workers.

In Europe, closed borders are already worrying farmers. We’re missing the migratory workers who went back to their countries of origin. There’s plans to offer the work to unemployed people or new arrivals from the refugee stream, but the farmhands used to this type of work come with valuable experience.

More good reasons to create fair wages and health insurance for everyone.

kritiper's avatar

It only takes one man on a farm to plow and plant, so, no, Even with a large operation, distance between workers can be maintained for safety.

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