UNH Cooperative Extension and partner organizations are working hard to find answers to your questions about the impacts of COVID-19 on the state’s farms and agricultural businesses.
Submit your questions using the form below. Questions will be directed to Extension staff who will work in partnership with local agencies and organizations to research issues and provide the best available answers here to support New Hampshire commercial agriculture.
This page will be updated daily with new questions and updated answers as we continually receive more information.
This resources is a cooperative effort of UNH Extension, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, NH Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Service Agency, NH Ag Mediation, and others.
If you’d like to ask your questions in person or hear from fellow producers and service providers, please join our live open forums. Upcoming sessions Monday's 3/30 and 4/6 10:00 - 11:00am, and Wednesday's 4/1 and 4/8, 7:00 - 8:00pm.
At this time, scheduling of exams will be delayed until further notice. Following April 6th the Division will contact those people that have sent in correctly completed applications with appropriate payments with regard to scheduling exams. People will be contacted based on receipt of correctly completed paperwork and fees. For example, items received March 16th will be the first group of people to be called to schedule exams and so on. [updated 3/23/20]
Dairy & Livestock
IBA states that it has not been tested for effectiveness on COVID-19, however other sodium hypochlorite products are effective. CDC: "For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective" https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html [updated 3/23/20]
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented a wide range of measures that will minimize rick to our staff and keep our business operating at the highest level possible. https://dairyone.com/covid-19-response/
How Can Livestock Farmers Prepare for the Coronavirus Outbreak? Morning Ag Clips [updated 3/23/20]
Slaughter houses are deemed “essential” in NH. The State of New Hampshire has compiled a list of industry sectors that provide essential services and support to COVID-19 and the core missions of the State. The list includes livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities. View the full list [updated 3/27/20]
https://www.morningagclips.com/how-can-livestock-farmers-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-outbreak/ .[updated 3/23/20]
NH Governor, Chris Sununu's emergency order #10, issued March 21, 2020, states that all establishments within the state that offer groceries for sale, shall transition to exclusive use of store provided single use plastic or paper bags when bagging groceries or other products for customers. https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-10.pdf [updated 3/24/20]
FDA guidance states: social distancing to the full 6 feet will not be possible in some food facilities. When it’s impractical for employees in these settings to maintain social distancing, effective hygiene practices should be maintained to reduce the chance of spreading the virus. Food facilities should be vigilant in their hygiene practices, including frequent and proper hand-washing and routine cleaning of all surfaces. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 [updated 3/27/20]
AmericanHort and CJ Lake have assembled a list of FAQs for users of the H-2A visa program. [updated 3/24/20]
We have two resources that discussed H-2A. These are listed on our blog which you can access here: https://extension.unh.edu/blog/labor-and-unemployment-q-farm-businesses [updated 3/24/20]
Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #5 allows for self-employed individuals and employees currently excluded from collecting unemployment, (which would include many farm employees) to be covered. We are seeking guidance on this from the NH Employment Security Office. For more in-depth information please go to: https://extension.unh.edu/blog/financial-assistance-programs-farmers [updated 3/26/20]
The State of NH has been designated an “economic disaster area” which allows non-farm business owners to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA cannot make loans to agricultural operations, however they may work with businesses tied to agriculture. Non-farm business owners can contact the District SBA office in Concord at 603-225-1601 and speak to either Warren or Miguel. You can also access SBA information through a daily webinar they are offering. For more in-depth information on SBA programs and how to access their daily webinars, click on the following link: https://extension.unh.edu/blog/financial-assistance-programs-farmers[updated 3/26/20]
If you know of anyone having problems due to the COVID-19 situation, FSA can make loans to eligible agricultural producers struggling with financial crisis. The USDA Farm Service Agency offers a variety of fixed rate, low interest loans to help with working capital and cash flow needs. Currently, our direct loan program rate is 2.625% fixed. If you know of anyone that is in need of a farm loan, please tell them to contact our NH Farm Loan Manager, Rebecca Davis at 223-6003 or firstname.lastname@example.org You can also go to https://farmland.org/farmer-relief-fund/ to learn about opportunities from American Farmland Trust. [updated 3/26/20]
Comparison of Schedule F profit and loss numbers for 2019 as compared to farm income and expenses in 2020
Sale receipts of unplanned livestock sales because of the impact of the financial conditions due to COVID-19
Receipts for additional feed purchases needed as a result of the virus’s financial impact
Copies of vender open accounts bills unpaid because of the loss of farm income
List of account receivables not received because of the financial impact to customers
Agricultural businesses are deemed “essential” in NH. The State of New Hampshire has compiled a list of industry sectors that provide essential services and support to COVID-19 and the core missions of the State. View the full list Essential businesses mut develop strategies, procedures, and practices to allow for social distancing protocols consistent with guidance provided by the CDC and the Division of Public Health. [updated 3/27/20]
Horticulture businesses are deemed “essential” in NH. The State of New Hampshire has compiled a list of industry sectors that provide essential services and support to COVID-19 and the core missions of the State. The list includes nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers, commercial and residential landscape services, and more. View the full list Essential businesses mut develop strategies, procedures, and practices to allow for social distancing protocols consistent with guidance provided by the CDC and the Division of Public Health. [updated 3/27/20]
Protecting Yourself and Your Farm from COVID-19: Guidance for dairy and livestock farms
COVID-19 Resources and Information for Growers and Producers: Guidance for fruit and vegetable farms
Coronavirus Best Management Practices for the Green Industry: Guidance for the green industry, courtesy of PennState Extension
Guide for CSA Farmers amid COVID-19: Steps CSA producers should take to ensure the health of their staff, the public and themselves