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COVID-19 Latest

New York Farm Bureau is evaluating the content of our daily COVID-19 alerts and the new information that is coming in each day. Next week, we will be moving to sending out information every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, instead of daily. Of course, if the situation warrants letting you know something sooner, we won’t hesitate to reach out to you any day of the week. We want to make sure each alert is worth your time and full of news that you can use.


Please continue to reach out to us if you have questions, comments and suggestions at info@nyfb.org.


The Latest from Gov. Cuomo’s Daily Briefing on COVID-19*

  • Executive order will be issued, "All people in public in New York State must have mask or mouth/nose covering.” Must be worn in situations in which social distancing is not maintained in public spaces. There will be a three-day notice to allow for compliance. Goes into effect on Friday, April 17.
  • Total hospitalizations are down and still around 18,000 currently.
  • 2,253 new COVID hospitalizations, up from yesterday's numbers.
  • Intubations are down.
  • State will begin reporting all categories of fatalities pursuant to new CDC guidelines. "Probable deaths" will be included. State contacting facilities to get updated numbers.
  • About 800 people have gone through Javits Center temporary hospital.
  • Phased reopening of our economy based on: How "essential" is business service or product and what is the risk of infection spreading. Priorities will be for more essential and low risk gradient down to less essential and high risk.
  • Testing, tracing and isolating is a massive undertaking. Governor says, "We need an army to trace and need the federal government as partner."
  • Diagnostic testing / antibody testing / saliva testing / finger prick testing / blood sampling are in development.
  • We can't do large-scale testing yet.
    • We need federal support.Testing is basically provided by private sector companies.
    • Companies need massive amounts of equipment, they need massive lab capacity, and massive amounts of chemical agents.
    • NYS will coordinate statewide testing: 228 labs
    • Gov. Cuomo likens testing capacity need to that of ventilators at start of response, states "no one is to blame," effort is now how do we do it.
  • DOH developed their own antibody testing; no need for private lab.
  • Asked FDA to approve test to bring up to 100,000 a day.
  • Testing will be prioritized for healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers.
  • Governor reiterates that states and federal government are competing for tests, same as they had been for PPE and ventilators.
  • New York will be donating ventilators: 100 to Michigan, 50 to Maryland.

*Courtesy NY StateWatch


Gov. Cuomo has extended the Pause Act to April 29, which mandates non-essential workers to work from home and a six-foot social distancing space be observed in public places. Click here for more information.


For the latest number of infection cases, including a breakdown by county, click here.


NYFB to host COVID-19 Town Hall Tonight

Please join us at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, April 15 for a town hall Zoom event on the pandemic. It will be an opportunity to get your questions answered from leading officials and organizations that are assisting in the response efforts. Participating in the call are:

  • NYFB President David Fisher
  • NYSDAM Commissioner Richard Ball
  • AFBF Executive Vice President Dale Moore
  • Cornell CALS Agriculture Workforce Specialist Dr. Richard Stup
  • NY FarmNet's Outreach Director Kate Downes

If you have a question for one of the panelists, please email it to info@nyfb.org. Questions must be submitted to NYFB in order to be considered.


The event is limited to the first 500 participants, but it will be recorded for future viewing. Meeting will be audio only.


Market Intel on How Dumped Milk Priced and Pooled

American Farm Bureau Federation’s Chief Economist, John Newton, Ph.D. explains how milk that is dumped is priced and pooled particularly under the current orders by the FMMO in light of the COVID-19 market disruptions. Click here to access the article.


Spanish Language COVID Training Video for Farmworkers

Spanish-speaking farmworkers can learn about COVID-19 and needed precautions, both at home and at work. This video produced by Libby Eiholzer of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lisa Ford of Cayuga Marketing, and Anna Meyerhoff, of NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) was developed especially for agricultural workers. The audio is in Spanish, but subtitles are available in English through closed captioning. Click here to view.


NYCAMH also has numerous resources available for farm employers and employees on its website. Click here to view NYCAMH’s COVID webpage.


SBA Releases Final Interim Rule for Sole Proprietor Applying to PPP to Cover Payroll Costs, Other Expenses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidance for sole proprietors. The guidance document can be found here and provides further clarity on how sole proprietor operations should calculate expenses under the PPP. The PPP helps businesses cover payroll costs and other specified business expenses for qualifying employers with less than 500 employees. Farms are eligible for the program. Information regarding the PPP can be found here. Farmers should check with their banks and lending institutions for assistance with applying.


*NYFB has heard from multiple agency and lender sources that the PPP funding will be exhausted as early as Thursday, April 16. SBA is advising businesses to continue applying for PPP loans, even if the funding runs out. SBA is creating a virtual queue to hold a business’ place in line once Congress replenishes PPP funding.


AFBF President Named to White House Economic Revival Group

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall will join the Great American Economic Revival Industry Group focused on agriculture. President Donald Trump created 17 groups to help shape plans to reopen the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.


President Duvall said in a statement, “I’m honored to have been chosen by President Trump to join the Great Economic Revival Industry group focusing on agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers are deeply committed to feeding the nation during this crisis, but there are mounting challenges threatening their ability to keep putting food on Americans’ tables. The lost food service and restaurant market due to the COVID-19 shutdown hit America’s farm families hard. The prices paid to farmers and ranchers have spiraled down, and in some cases, demand has disappeared, despite empty grocery shelves. No one is more eager than farmers to get the economy humming again. It’s imperative that we do this in a manner that keeps our families, neighbors, coworkers and communities safe. We look forward to working with fellow agricultural leaders and the Trump administration to ensure healthy, affordable food continues to be available to families across the country and farmers are able to hold on as we return to some sense of normalcy in America.”


COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

The UDSA has put together a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide that outlines programs that are available to support rural businesses and individuals. A copy of the guide can be found here.


Resources Available for Equine Farms

Extension Horses, a resource provided by the Cooperative Extension System, brings together information from horse specialists from universities around the country, has developed resources for horse owners and farms to provide information and support during COVID-19. Resources include a series of educational webinars which provide access to experts on topics directly affecting equine owners and operations. Recently, there was a “COVID-19 Financial Assistance Options for Horse Owners and Horse Businesses” webinar with information shared by United Horse Coalition and American Horse Council. Click here to view the recording of this webinar. Go to the Extension Horses webpage for more resources. The United Horse Coalition also has a webpage with information on safety-net programs including hay and feed programs. Another resource is the Equestrian Aid Foundation.


USDA Funding Update

The USDA is continuing to develop its plans to allocate funds from the recently passed CARES Act. This allocation includes $14 billion in funding to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) which is administered by the USDA. The CCC has been utilized in the past to provide direct funding for farmers (ex. the trade mitigation programs in 2018 and 2019). Also in the CARES Act, there was an additional $9.5 billion given to the USDA to provide support to livestock (including dairy), specialty crop, and local/ direct market operations.


It is speculated that USDA will announce sometime this week how they will allocate the funds to help farmers. Possibly through direct payments, other financial programs, and/or through product buy-ups. As soon as details are released by USDA, NYFB will provide information to producers.


NY FarmNet is Open

Please keep these numbers and websites available to call or share should you, a family member or friends need someone to speak with in these uncertain times.

Support is available at 1-800-547-3276 and www.nyfarmnet.org


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255 (TALK), www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org


Crisis Text Line
Text “GOT 5” to 741-741, www.crisistextline.org




If you have concerns about how COVID-19 will affect your agricultural operation, please give New York Farm Bureau a call at 518-436-8495. We can only help those who ask. Who knows, maybe your question will cause us to get ahead of a problem instead of reacting to it after it has become a problem.




  • For previous NYFB COVID-19 alerts and the latest info, click here.
  • Click here for the latest information from New York State on COVID-19.
  • The CDC has created a website for the latest news on the virus.
    Click here to access it.
  • COVID-19 Guidance from NYSDAM is available on its website. The department has also published a general resource guide for the agricultural community.