Coronavirus Impact on Ag Pt 1

Coronavirus Impact on Ag Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. It’s no secret, Washington state is ground zero in the U.S. for Covid-19, the coronavirus that made its way stateside from China and first detected in January.

But besides the obvious worries about contracting the disease or the shipping delays to and from China, has it caused any other problems for the ag industry? …

POWERS … “I think, you hit it on the head. Right now, the major one seems to be, you know, the availability of refer containers and just the supply chain and getting, for export, right, containers available.”

Which, Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, says then impacts the commerce side …

POWERS … “And then, people are cancelling travel overseas and have been for awhile now, so the usual customer contact that happens at this time of year in preparation for cherries or other sales. That’s not happening.”

And that of course, Powers says could lead to more problems …

POWERS … “I think the bigger impacts that we’re potentially concerned with is what happens with the spread and impacts on the domestic workforce, which is kind of a Pandora’s Box right now. Do you send people home? How do you do the best thing that you can for employees and still keep the packing operations going.”

As we learn more, Powers says some companies could have some very tough personnel decisions to make.

Listen tomorrow for more on what the coronavirus means for agriculture.

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