NCGA offers tips to manage stress on the farm


In July, the National Corn Growers Association highlighted increase stress on the farm, which has only been amplified by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Imagine being a farmer who has a short window to plant a crop that is critical to your economic future,” the organization wrote in a release.

Charles Schuster and Jeanette M. Jeffery with the University of Maryland Extension said one of the first things farmers can do is recognize escalating stress around them because undetected stress can lead to undetected health problems.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

• Fear and worry about your health and the health of your loved ones
• Changes in sleep or eating patterns
• Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
• Worsening of chronic health problems
• Worsening of mental health conditions
• Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
• Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Assisting others to cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Ways to cope with stress:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media, while in the tractor or truck. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
• Take care of your body.
• Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
• Exercise regularly. When you get out of the tractor at the end of the day, take a walk. Get plenty of sleep.
• Avoid alcohol and drugs.
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
• Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.