Advice to dairy farmers in the midst of Covid-19…keep your distance
One of the stand-out ways of reducing your chances of picking up Covid-19 (coronavirus) is to keep your distance from other people and, although farming is a pretty isolating profession already, there are still many reasons why farmers allow people to enter their farms.
Unfortunately for dairy farmers, someone must enter their farm more often than other farming enterprises – to collect their milk supplies.
This must carry on and cannot be prevented; however, there are some precautions dairy farmers can take in the present climate.
Firstly, farmers should always focus on following the Health Service Executive (HSE) guidelines on washing their hands and practicing physical and social distancing.
In addition to these recommendations, some milk processors have advised farmers to leave hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities ready for lorry drivers when they come to collect their milk.
While the lorry driver is on the farm, avoid coming in close contact with the driver and maintain a distance of 2m at all times.
Perhaps you usually have a chat with your driver each day when he or she comes to collect your milk, which is fine, as long as you keep the recommended distance from him or her.
If milk samples are to be tested, contact your local milk advisor for advice on where and when to leave them, before going on-site with the samples.
If someone on the farm, or in the farm’s household, has or is suspected to have contracted the virus, contact your local milk advisor.
Another common reason why someone might enter your dairy farm is to carry out a delivery of meal, fertiliser, milk replacer or diesel.
Similar to when someone comes to collect your milk, farmers must maintain a distance of 2m and not come in close contact with the delivery driver.
Most co-ops are advising farmers to ring ahead and order goods for delivery rather than collecting supplies themselves.