COVID-19 could bring challenges for spring planting on Minnesota farms

Because a majority of the state's farmers are older and more at risk of contracting the coronavirus, University of Minnesota Extension educators warn farmers to be careful as planting season approaches.

Spring planting
Farmers are encouraged to use precautions to avoid the coronavirus during the spring planting season. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune (file photo)

WILLMAR — Farmers heading into planting season are being advised to take extra health precautions in light of COVID-19.

A majority of Minnesota farmers are at an age that puts them at higher risk for getting the coronavirus, said Lizabeth Stahl, an educator with University of Minnesota Extension.

She said if farmers become ill, it may be difficult to find trained replacement labor.

“Staying healthy during this time is particularly critical as the optimal planting window is only so wide and it can be extremely weather dependent,” Stahl said.

For personal safety and to maintain a labor force free of COVID-19 , Stahl said farmers and all who are in the agricultural supply chain should follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines of washing hands, limiting travel and social distancing.


She also said it’s important that farmers do not work through an infection because of the “serious risks this disease poses and the risk of transmitting the virus to others.”

Further information can be found at:

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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