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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Farm Bureau: ‘No Farm Untouched By Pandemic’

Mike Groll

65% of farmers in New York state say their business has been negatively or very negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to the New York Farm Bureau, which conducted an informal survey of more than 500 of its members.

Bureau President David Fisher said in a virtual news conference that 43% of farms have lost sales during the pandemic.

“No farm was untouched by the pandemic or the economic fallout. Most of us have had to deal with price drops and supply issues,” he said. “But on the flip side, some farms that can direct market to their customers were able to adapt quickly and take advantage of customer demand.”

Fisher, who is a dairy farmer, said his biggest concern hasn’t been the price of milk or shipping issues.

He said his main concern has been the health and safety of employees and family.

“We’re a team and if someone gets sick, and there’s an outbreak, it’s a major concern. Concern for the wellbeing of the people, as well as the animals that we care for every day. In this survey, we were pleased to see that most farms are taking proactive steps to put plans in place to mitigate the spread.” 

More than half the farmers surveyed said they are somewhat or very concerned about the mental health of a family member, friend of neighbor.