Farmer double whammy: Coronavirus and wet fields

Farmer double whammy: Coronavirus and wet fields
Many farmers, already dealing with wet weather, are now seeing the coronavirus pandemic impacting the start of the season. (Source: Tayler Davis)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Many farmers, already dealing with wet weather, are now seeing the coronavirus pandemic impacting the start of the season.

“We’re ready to plant corn right now and we can’t do it’s too wet and we have to get the ground ready to count corn before we can even plant.”

Jason Bean is a farmer in Pemiscot County, and he’s worried about wet fields putting them behind.

“Usually, when it puts us behind we see yields go down so that’s a little bit concerning,” he said.

Brother and fellow farmer Barry Bean said they’ve got an even bigger problem right now, the coronavirus.

“When it hit in China and they started closing down portions of China for instance on the cotton side we were seeing mills shut down, then we saw ports shut down,” he said.

He said when the coronavirus spread to the United States things really took a turn.

“When it got outside of China, it really interrupted the whole flow of the commodity,” Bean said.

Barry Bean said it’s starting to impact their profits.

“Right now, with the exception of rice, every single crop that we produce, the price today is below the cost of production,” he said.

And he said it’s taking farmers away from the fields.

“The average of farmers is 57. If the virus really does hit the rural communities as hard as it hits the big urban centers like New York, if we see 20 percent of our producers either quarantined or sick, that is major hit,” he said.

Jason Bean said right now all they can do is have faith.

“We’re farmers, we’ll get through it, we’ll make it,” he said.

Jason Bean said the Farmers Bureau is working with universities to find AG students to get help out in the fields.

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