Dealing with COVID-19 in Agriculture

Unprecedented times call for new measures 

It is early April and we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed daily. I am sure that many of you are in the same page as me. A little confused, worried, angry and very busy at the same time. No matter where you live, or what industry you are in, the challenges are real. Focusing on getting through it together is important. 

The last month has been very different for us. This is usually a time of year where we are busy at farm shows, visiting customer field’s almost daily scouting wheat, preparing our spring wheat research trials, and helping our dealer network through spring challenges. Through this stage, the shows have stopped, the dealer visits have stopped, and the spring research process has changed. But we can still be there when you need us. 

We are all experiencing challenges in a world with COVID-19. My wife is a teacher, and even that profession is finding this time very complicated, missing the daily face to face interactions with their favourite little faces. We find ourselves chatting at night about the challenges in adapting new technology over a short period of time, and learning about the problems that can occur with that process. 

Fortunately, in agriculture, we are used to change – and lots of it. We have felt the challenges of a new GPS unit not working properly, or a seed drill creating challenges when the rain is coming in a couple hours. Working through these types of issues has helped to build the character in the farming industry that has made so many strong people. 

This season, we are sure to see some unique things happen around the industry. It is becoming clear that social distancing is not going away in a week or two and could be in place for a longer amount of time. Meetings will be different, interactions with your agronomists, suppliers and partners will be different. We will be doing more chatting over the phone, and learning in different ways. Moving through this, remember that it is ok to reach out to others. We all want to talk more. 

At C&M Seeds we are doing our part to avoid the spread of COVID-19, while trying to step ahead with our communication process at the same time. As you enter our yard, our doors will be locked for the safety of yourself, and our staff. We continue to be dedicated to fulfilling your every need, but the process is sure to feel different. Phoned in orders, a tighter requirement for advanced scheduling, and far less face to face interactions are the new normal for now. As we move through the season, we will do our best to step up our communication methods through new technology. 

You can reach The Wheat Team in many ways. Phone, text message, email, twitter, and more. We are currently experimenting with different software programs to do meetings from our fields to yours. Using Microsoft Teams software we will be able to share computer screens, even phone camera from the field so we can be on the same page through this new phase of communication. See below on how to reach either Tim, Rob, Alex or Ellen. Want to test this out with your own agronomy questions? Contact one of us and we will be sure to try it out with you. Most cell phones are more than capable of strong video for this. 

We are here to help – we will get through this stage and be stronger for it! Do your best to involve your children on the farm, keep the hands on learning at an all-time high through this time. They will grow as much as we do! And remember that everyone is going through their own challenges and we will all need to be a little more patient. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us – even if it is just to talk. We are here to help! 

Rob McLaughlin 

  • Midwestern Ontario & Eastern Canada 
  • Sales and Marketing, Agronomy 
  • rmclaughlin@redwheat.com – email 
  • 519-492-0044 – cell 
  • @thewheatteam – twitter 
  • 1-888-733-9432 – office 

Tim Meulensteen 

  • Midwestern & Eastern Ontario 
  • Agronomy 
  • tmeulensteen@redwheat.com – email 
  • 519-492-0794 – cell 
  • @WheatTeam_Tim – twitter

Alex Zelem 

  • Midwestern & Eastern Ontario 
  • Agronomy 
  • azelem@redwheat.com – email 
  • 519-860-0794 – cell 
  • @Alex_Zelem – twitter

Ellen Sparry 

  • All of Canada 
  • General Manager, Agronomy 
  • esparry@redwheat.com – email 
  • 519-492-0107 – cell 
  • @Ellen_Sparry – twitter 
  • 1-888-733-9432 – office

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