DAERA Minister Edwin Poots and the Ulster Farmers' Union have advised farmers to make plans to deal with possible infection of coronavirus in order to keep the family farm running.
r Poots said: "Family farms have many benefits with regards to social distancing but it also brings unique challenges. As farmers live where they work and work where they live, it is important to make plans as to how to deal with potential infection of Covid-19."
Precautionary steps to reduce potential impacts on the farm include:
- Identify who you can ask to help and know what skills or knowledge they need to work on your farm.
- Write down the daily work plan to include what is happening on the farm.
- Provide operating instructions for all machinery and equipment, for example the milking parlour routine, the automatic systems in the hen broiler, the pig house; and don't forget the things often taken for granted like checking the meal hasn't bridged in the bin.
- Assess feed, fertiliser, oil, medicines, disinfectants and other critical inputs. Where stocks are low, replenish but don't stockpile.
- Provide everyone with a list of emergency contacts.