COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

Mary Kate MacKenzie, Farm Business Management Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

April 7, 2020
COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

Health, Safety and COVID-19 Prevention 

Biosecurity for People: 7 Steps to Protect Farm Workers from COVID-19

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention and Management Dairy Farmer Handbook

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. 

What You Need To Know About Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Your Dairy (English Infographic)

Alltec

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.  

Lo que necesita saber del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) en su lechería (infografía en español)

Alltech

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.  

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

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.

 

Dairy Farm Business Management  

COVID-19 Response: Leadership, Planning, and Communication/Collaboration

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.  

Updated: Do's and Don'ts for Dairy Farmers when Facing Financial Difficulty

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.  

Dairy Farm Risk Management Options - April 2020

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.  

Progress of the Dairy Farm Report #3: Selected Financial and Production Factors

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.

 

Economic Impacts and Policy Response  

Dairy Market Updates - April 1st 2020

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.  

Impact of Processing Plant Closures

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.  

COVID-19 Employee Leave and Farm Employers

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.  

CARES Act's Emergency Resources for Farm Businesses: Paycheck Protection Loan Program

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.

 

Stress Management and Mental Health  

Managing Stress in Unprecedented Times

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…  

Managing Financial Stress on the Farm in Uncertain Times

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.




COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers (pdf; 615KB)


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Upcoming Events

Cornell Hemp Field Day

August 11, 2022
Geneva, NY

The Cornell Hemp Field Day will incorporate multiple workshop-style talks on several topics including hemp genetics and breeding, pest management, and grain and fiber production. It will also involve demonstrations of combine harvesting and baling. This hands-on field day will have interactive workshops offering DEC credits on the use of pesticides and disease management. Digital ag applications and an introduction of the USDA hemp germplasm repository will also be included.

https://hemp.cals.cornell.edu/...

view details

Pasture Walk: Multi-Species Grazing and Direct Marketing

August 13, 2022
Van Etten, NY

Join livestock farmers, Ike and Dave Mallula for a tour of their multi-species grazing operation. Learn how they manage beef, poultry, and hogs on pasture, and how they engage consumers to direct market pasture-raised meats

view details

2022 Aurora Farm Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

August 18, 2022
Aurora, NY

2 DEC Recertification Credits will be Available

for Commercial and Private Field Crop Licenses

view details

Announcements

New York State Farm Directory launching in June 2022

From our friends at Cornell CALS

As part of Cornell Cooperative Extension's role in strengthening New York State agriculture, we are helping to spread word of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' plans to launch a statewide online Farm Directory. The Farm Directory, which launches in mid-June, will connect consumers to producers of farm products and promote New York farms.

The Farm Directory will appear on the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets' website at agriculture.ny.gov/farming/farm-directory. It will show information for each listed farm, which can include the farm name, farm type, point of contact, addresses, telephone number, email address, website, social media, and a listing of all available products produced by the farm. Other categories of interest to the public, like the farm's inclusion in the New York State Grown & Certified Program and designations of organic, halal or kosher certified may also be noted. Website visitors will be able to sort or search the directory by any field.

Since not every farm offers products to the public at the farm site, each farm can indicate whether it is open to the public, or if there is another means that their farm product can be accessed. This might include listing a distributor, a brand name that your product is eventually marketed under, or a specific consumer-facing website where the public can determine where to purchase your product in a retail location. The information available on the directory for each farm can be tailored to meet the individual needs of each business and farmers will be able to update their information as desired.

The creation of the Farm Directory derives from Section 16(52) of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, requiring the Department to create a directory of every farm in New York State. Farms will be receiving a package in the mail shortly outlining the Farm Directory purpose, a survey to collect information on the farm to be included in the Directory, and a return envelope.

If you choose not to have your farm participate in the Directory, you are required by law to notify the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets of this decision by opting out. Farms may opt out by returning the provided survey or indicating it through the online survey linked at the website above.

Farms that initially opt out can later contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets if they wish to be included at any point. Also, farms can also contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets if they wish to opt out after initially choosing to participate in the Directory.

For questions or additional information on the Farm Directory, please contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets at (518) 485-1050 or FarmDirectory@agriculture.ny.gov.


NYS Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law in 2019 as one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. The law created the Climate Action Council (the Council), which is tasked with developing a draft scoping plan that serves as an initial framework for how the State will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy usage, and ensure climate justice. On December 20, the Council voted to release the draft scoping plan for public comment. January 1, 2022 marks the beginning of a 120-day public comment period to receive feedback from the public as the Council works to develop and release a final scoping plan by the end of 2022. Read the Draft Scoping Plan [PDF] including the  entire document with appendices. https://climate.ny.gov/Our-Climate-Act/Draft-Scoping-Plan

From Our Team to Yours: COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

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.

For the full list, click here: COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers


Regional Team Operations During COVID-19

Click here for an operations update.


Dairy Acceleration Program Funds Available

Funds available for the
  • organization of financial records/benchmarking up to $1,000
  • continued business planning (for farms awarded in a previous year) up to $2,500
  • business planning up to $5,000
Guidelines remain the same DAP covers 80% of the cost up to the value of the award and the farm is responsible for 20%.  Visit https://prodairy.cals.cornell.edu/dairy-acceleration/

HEMP GROWER'S EXCHANGE BOARD

CCE Hemp Exchange Board On-Line
Dear Hemp Growers & Processors: Our exchange board has its first postings; plenty of interest in selling and purchasing. You can check it out at http://www.nyhempexchange.org/

 *The NY Hemp Exchange Board is posted for your information and research purposes. Cornell Cooperative Extension does not endorse or recommend any product, service, individual, business or other entity. All "Hemp Exchanges" are posted at the discretion of CCE. "Hemp Exchanges" requests may be denied or removed at any time for any reason Maire Ullrich, MBA Agriculture Program Leader Eastern New York Horticulture Team - Vegetables Cornell University Cooperative Extension Orange County


2018 Drug Residue Prevention Manual

For more than 30 years, the U.S. dairy industry has focused educational efforts on the judicious use of antibiotics through the annual publication of a Best Practices Manual. The 2018 edition of the National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management? Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual is the primary educational tool for dairy farm managers throughout the country on the judicious and responsible use of antibiotics, including avoidance of drug residues in milk and meat.

The manual is a quick resource to review those antibiotics approved for dairy animals and can also be used as an educational tool and resource for farm managers as they develop on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. Visit the Manual and Form Library to download copies of this important tool!

http://www.nationaldairyfarm.com/drug-residue-manual


Follow us on Facebook

The team updates our facebook page frequently - follow us to be updated on our events, see some fun videos and get local area updates!

facebook.com/SCNYDairyandFieldCropsTeam


Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship

Western New York Dairy Farmers Kim Shaklee and Janice Brown make the news with their successful Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship match. Kim and Janice are Master Graizers, and they are working hard with their Apprentice, Travis Belmore and preparing Lauren La Mar for an official Apprenticeship. 

http://www.americanagriculturist.com/dairy/guiding-next-gen-dairy-graziers-win-win

ProDairy Forage Management

Are you prepared to change your routine this spring?

By: Joe Lawrence, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team


While spring tasks vary by farm, there are many "rites of spring," and they are often completed in a fairly rigid sequence. Depending on the farm, these often include fixing fence, spreading manure, planting new seedings, planting corn and harvesting first cutting, and are often performed in this order.

We are optimistic that the upcoming turn in weather will allow these task to be accomplished in a timely manner, but at this point it is time to ask yourself: Are you willing to change your spring routine?

In addition to adverse weather it is no secret that everyone is facing extremely tight economic times, and dealing with forage inventories of poor digestibility forages from 2017. This combination of factors makes it more critical than ever to be ready to tackle the task that will have the most impact on your business at the proper time.

Recent reference articles on dealing with tough times:
• Key Opportunities to Optimize 2018 Crop Production Efficiency
• Resources for Dealing with Spring Weather Delays
First Cutting
The number one focus should be on timely harvest of first cutting.
• Park the corn planter when a field of first cutting is ready for harvest.
o Monitoring 1st cut harvest timing
• Approach harvest by the acre, not by the field. Be ready to skip over a field that has passed its optimum harvest stage.
o Dynamic Harvest Schedules
• Strategically plan feed storage to best utilize forage inventories for the right group of animals.
o Strategic Forage Storage Planning
o When More is Better
Corn Planting
The window for planting for silage is generally wider than for grain, which is why first cutting can and should take priority over corn planting. However, in the event of extreme delays in planting corn, performance will diminish with late plantings. If corn planting progresses into late May or early June, begin to consider alternative options for those acres. Previous research from Cornell and Penn State suggest a 0.5 to 1 ton/acre per week decline in silage yield for planting after mid to late May.

Multi-Tasking
First and foremost during a time of year that can be very busy and stressful, taking every precaution to keep your team safe is critical.

The idea of fitting all of this work into a condensed time period, and still getting key tasks completed before critical deadlines can seem impossible, but year after year many find unique ways to get it all done. Consider working with neighbors, custom operators or renting equipment to accomplish these key tasks on time.

If you currently utilize custom operators, now is a good time to set up a time to meet with them and make sure you are on the same page to get tasks accomplished in the time-frame needed. Make sure that your expectations and goals are clearly defined. They will also be under stress to fit their work into a condensed period and meet their customers' expectations, so defining expectations and pre-planning how to most efficiently get the work accomplished when the custom operator arrives can go a long way to increase the chances for success.



NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program

NYSERDA offers energy audits to help eligible farms and on-farm producers identify ways to save energy and money on utility bills. Reports include recommendations for energy efficiency measures.

Eligibility
Eligible farms include but are not limited to dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. The farms must also be customers of New York State investor-owned utilities and contribute to the System Benefits Charge (SBC). Please check your farm’s current utility bills to see if your farm pays the SBC.

Energy Audit Options
You can request the level of energy audit that best fits your farm’s needs. NYSERDA will assign a Flexible Technical Assistance Program Consultant to visit your farm and perform an energy audit at no cost to you.

For more information and the NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program Application click here


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