Coronavirus: Except for markets, farmers see little impact

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ – With some items missing or scarce on grocery store shelves during the coronavirus epidemic, it’s easy to wonder how the disease is impacting America’s farmers and the food supply.

But farmers, who are in the middle of planting soybeans and corn in central Kentucky, say they aren’t too concerned

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Neil Denton farms corn, soybeans, wheat and rye in western Kentucky. For him and others in the industry, spring planting is going on as usual.

The only concern, the average age of farmers is 58, which the Centers for Disease Control says is close to the higher risk age for COVID-19.

“I think there is a fear our demographic is aging and we are kind of at risk anyway because of the environments we work in, but hopefully we have strength in numbers,” Denton said.

“For the most part, we have been impacted mainly by our markets, the stock market took a major hit and it’s just kind of eroded the commodities,” Denton added of the impact the pandemic is having on farmers.

“Right now, here in the Midwest, we’re preparing our equipment, and there can be some field work happening, if you are in a dry enough pocket, but things will continue as normal and production will continue even though coronavirus is affecting some of the other sectors of the economy.

“We maintain social distancing just because that’s kind of our business, anymore on the modern farm, we are not really close together a lot anyway,” Denton concluded.