Purdue University: Coronavirus Guide for Local Producers

As the global health epidemic forces consumer habits to change, Purdue University has released guidelines to help farmers reach customers and generate income during the economic downturn.

Coronavirus quarantines have shut down restaurant dining, a major source of revenue for small farmer. Farmers market closures represent another potential profit blow.

In the midst of market confusion industry leaders share ways farmers can create business certainty.

As more customers to stay home, farmers can capitalize on the trend through online sales. There are alternative markets that can be set up as web page with Google sheets, or a producer can sell through online conglomerates.

Farmers can use other online platforms to sell products, such as Facebook Marketplace, or one of many online Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups.

No matter the option selected for geting the fresh farm goods to consumers – producers can also make direct to home deliveries, or set up a pop up stand with staggered pick up times – experts remind farmers to follow food safety measures: wash your hands before touching any of the vegetables or before packing them. Do whatever you can to control the contamination.”

If there is still leftover inventory, farmers can sell to local distributors or other outlets, such as food banks, in order to recoup some of their losses.

Freezing additional meat and produce is another option to consider. Possibilities include: renting pallet space from food banks, renting portable or large freezers, or sharing freezer space with other farmers.

Farmers might also consider adjusting crop schedules by planting short term spring crops in summer.

The full guide from Purdue University is available HERE.