Steps to Help Manage COVID-19 on the Farm
Having a plan keeps operations running smoothly in case of any disruption. With farmers starting to prepare for spring planting, on-farm staff activity levels will begin to increase. Listed below are the NCGA (National Corn Growers Association) recommendations regarding COVID-19:
- Identify and coordinate a drop-off location for supplier deliveries to the farm. If possible, set this up away from on-farm high traffic areas and housing.
- Create specific instructions for drop-off deliveries.
- Provide the location and all procedures needed at the drop-off point.
- Create signage to easily identify drop-off points. Provide contact information of staff who can assist with questions leading up to delivery and upon arrival.
- Practice physical distancing with delivery drivers. In these circumstances, it is best not to greet them with a handshake. Instead, keep a recommended distance of at least six feet.
- Log all deliveries and on-farm entries. Use a visitor’s log for everyone entering the farm.
- Monitor personal travel with a personal travel log.
- Prepare the on-farm workforce, including your family members.
- Provide guidance for hand washing and handling materials. Make sure that guidance is available and communicated to employees.
- If you have off-farm employees or seasonal help inform them that all sick employees must stay at home.
- If you have added sanitizing materials within your facilities or vehicles, tell employees where they can find them.
- If your operation has a large number of employees, encourage them to avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing during non-work hours.
- Sanitize contact surfaces.
- Disinfect all door handles and knobs, floor mats, steering wheels, and other commonly contacted surfaces.
- Sanitize common gathering places including facilities, lunch areas, and office spaces.
Planning enables you to provide a healthy workplace while maintaining high productivity and minimizing disruptions during spring planting season.