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I've been thinking about Seeding time now, then going into Harvest later and am trying to think of ways to improve our On Farm Cleaning Protocals. For some this type of thing has never existed or it's just been an unwritten rule. It may also be hard to adopt as it requires a change of habits, but maybe we can explore ideas together. Here's a start:

Since we will be using 2 tractors between Seeding and Anhydrous and have 4 employees driving during this time it could be hard to keep sanitation contained properly but it's worth a shot. Here's what I'm thinking. This may seem overkill to some but these are strange times and safety is first. Most of this is on top of the basics we've been hearing all about COVID19 distancing:
- Everyone maintains social distancing to the 2 metre min as much as possible. When we can't (like when sharing a cab) wear a mask.


Tractor Cabs:
  • Everyone has their own-bottle of sanitizer, extra kleenex, masks, gloves, water and food etc.
  • A kit for each person that includes: Paper Towel, Hand Sanitizer, rubber gloves, small garbage, masks, window cleaner. No sharing of these items.
  • Vacuum - A portable chargeable or car plugin vacuum in each cab.
  • Everyone cleans the cabs when they are done their shifts. This includes cleaning steering wheel, consoles, levers, ipads etc with sanitizer. Cleaning up garbage, and vacuuming floors, door handles.
  • When transitioning (and you are person B), leave 10 minutes, with window and door open before entering newly cleaned cab.
  • If its the end of the day, leave window open to freshen up cab.
  • When going home: store supplies in a designated area outside (like the garage). Keep everything away from children and wash clothes daily. Always have a second set of clothes on hand.

Thoughts? Things to add/remove?

When should staff stay home?
 

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If one gets sick lest ya got lots of replacements to choose from馃憤馃徔
 

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Go to the KAP website. Been talking about this very thing with them. They have a Farm Sanitation Fact sheet with good info.
 

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Or carry on business as usual don鈥檛 be a total pig and use common sense. Nuff said. It鈥檚 a flu over dramatized by modern day society. My great grandkids will be paying for this with taxes unless social distancing never end s we can鈥檛 have sex and the whole human race dies
 

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Natives in some country's wash their hands in cow urine before milking to sterilize hands. You have been thru a flu season before and this isn''t much different
 

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While I'm not overly concerned about my own health at present, I am deeply concerned that we avoid even a few cases in our rural areas. Our local hospital is not equipped to deal with the kind of care that a person hospitalized with covid-19 requires for more than a few patients at a time. All it takes is one person bringing it into the community and it will quickly spread to the point that our hospital will be overwhelmed and our local care professionals put at risk of illness themselves. The point of this exercise is to prevent this sort of thing. Repeat after me. This is not the flu. What is happening in NYC is not some media click baiting. It's definitely real, and the fact there are even a small number of cases in every state and nearly every province is deeply concerning. If we treat it like the flu, and if as many people get it as get the flu, we will see a lot more people die, and doctors and nurses getting sick and unable to treat our general needs. Even if you care nothing about people dying, you should care that this could (and is in the US) deny you access to the hospital because they are completely overwhelmed just dealing with covid-19. This is a wake up call that we are not invincible and our health care systems, despite being very good at many things, are relatively fragile. Actually are entire civilization is fairly fragile and needs care and vigilance.

In my local area, there are lots of farm workers. Typically they come from some close-knit communities who, until recently, traveled frequently. Thus there is great potential for this illness to spread here in my local area, despite the relative isolation of rural living. So farms in my area are definitely taking this seriously, essentially doing the things @projuter and @bmich spoke of. Shops need to be kept clean, tools wiped down, high traffic areas sanitized, hands washed. I think cleaning tractors daily is a great idea. If anything it keeps things a lot tidier, and can even help keep the mice infestations at bay if there's nothing in the cab to attract them.

It surprises me on this forum how some folks are so cavalier about issues of safety and health. For those that are skeptical, I urge you to speak with members of your family and friends who are doctors and nurses and they'll tell you this really is a serious issue. I'm not in a position to argue cost/benefits (or the human cost). But I take it seriously.
 

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If you have 4 people running this equipment I would first of all make sure they all get a good night sleep so their body can fight off the bug. Even if they all were exposed to corona virus one or less would develop clinical sicknes and 6-7 % would need hospitalization. If they wear gloves and start rubbing their nose or eyes stuff they touch in the tractor will get contaminated. Probably wiping the tractor down in the areas that are touched at the end of the shift and wearing nitrile gloves for the whole time in the cab would be a simple step to help reduce risk. If you are really concerned have them all live on site during seeding so they are already in quarantine and have limited exposure. If possible assign one tractor to two people rather than rotating all four through them. That will reduce your risk in half.
 

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If you have 4 people running this equipment I would first of all make sure they all get a good night sleep so their body can fight off the bug.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^^

The only long term defense against this bug and I mean the ONLY defense against it is herd immunity. Unless you're prepared to crawl in a hole and stay there for at least a year until someone develops a working vaccine, come out to get the shot and then go back into hiding until the world builds up some immunity you're going to catch it soon or later.

Your best bet is to get sick and recover and do that ASAP so you can stop worrying about it. Or just stop worrying about it.
 

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It鈥檚 definitely something to ponder. We had a flu bug start running through the crew during harvest and 4 of the 15 got sick before we realized what was going on. Stoped it with some 鈥渟ocial separation鈥 馃槀.
Fortunately most of the crew is under 30 so the odds of one getting sick and cashing out is pretty low but we do have one old timer I gave the option of sitting this one out and he said to hell with that! Nonetheless he鈥檚 on a nh3 rig and should be able to keep him fairly isolated.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your best bet is to get sick and recover and do that ASAP so you can stop worrying about it. Or just stop worrying about it.
This is what the kids partying in Florida over Spring break in the US thought and now it's everywhere there. More people will die there than should be dying because of COVID19. It only takes one person to spread it to a group of healthy people. There are major reasons for "flattening the curve" and that is that our health care systems are over strained, we need to prevent sever illness or death and we need to do everything to distance ourselves until there is a reliable vaccine. I have parents in their 70's and young children. It's a life and death risk, it is not like the flu. There are no vaccines or cures. I urge farmers to not even entertain being part of the spread. DO NOT CARRY ON AS NORMAL.

I believe extra diligence is the only option at this point, but clearly everyone will have to decide on their own farm, but PLEASE don't go on with life as usual. Our health care infrastructure will not be able to support that and our farms need to stay in production for the WHOLE SEASON. You may not go as far as we plan to, but don't be part of the problem, make changes as if people are going to have it, people could get sick, prevention and mitigation are crucial.

Sometimes we pay money and spray for Grasshoppers when they haven't fully invaded yet to prevent the spread. Think of why. It's worth the cost and due diligence to pay for prevention. There is a pay of. This time it isn't about 1 crop it's about the lives of other people. What's more valuable?
 

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One of my fears of all this sanitizing is the fact that there are so many more beneficial microbes being killed too that help with the immune system that we are weakening our immune systems so that when someone gets sick it is worse. I think it is best to ask the guys running the tractors what protocol they want. Like said above too, adequate rest is one of the best defenses against getting sick too.
 

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Pretty sure there are plenty of other microbes in our environment, especially on the farm. Using ordinary soap and water is highly effective against this virus and most other viruses and bacteria. I certainly hope you wash you hands after using the bathroom even under normal circumstances!

While exposure and recovery can increase your immunity, your immune system does not weaken from a lack of exposure. That's a common misconception, but a misconception nonetheless. Certain illnesses (measles does the worst, and we don't know the long-term effects of covid-19) and other health issues weaken or damage one's immune system. But not frequent hand washing or sanitizing.
 

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I am not arguing against proper hygiene. I encourage proper hygiene. I am saying that attempting to maintain a long term sterile environment is bad for people. The following video of Dr. Daphne Miller has some very interesting information on this.
 

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Rent two more tractors for seeding. Wear gloves when swapping hoses/electrical/drop pin at the end/start of a shift.
 

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^^

The only long term defense against this bug and I mean the ONLY defense against it is herd immunity. Unless you're prepared to crawl in a hole and stay there for at least a year until someone develops a working vaccine, come out to get the shot and then go back into hiding until the world builds up some immunity you're going to catch it soon or later.

Your best bet is to get sick and recover and do that ASAP so you can stop worrying about it. Or just stop worrying about it.
Absolutely stupid as dog ****
 

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I've been thinking about Seeding time now, then going into Harvest later and am trying to think of ways to improve our On Farm Cleaning Protocals. For some this type of thing has never existed or it's just been an unwritten rule. It may also be hard to adopt as it requires a change of habits, but maybe we can explore ideas together. Here's a start:

Since we will be using 2 tractors between Seeding and Anhydrous and have 4 employees driving during this time it could be hard to keep sanitation contained properly but it's worth a shot. Here's what I'm thinking. This may seem overkill to some but these are strange times and safety is first. Most of this is on top of the basics we've been hearing all about COVID19 distancing:
- Everyone maintains social distancing to the 2 metre min as much as possible. When we can't (like when sharing a cab) wear a mask.


Tractor Cabs:
  • Everyone has their own-bottle of sanitizer, extra kleenex, masks, gloves, water and food etc.
  • A kit for each person that includes: Paper Towel, Hand Sanitizer, rubber gloves, small garbage, masks, window cleaner. No sharing of these items.
  • Vacuum - A portable chargeable or car plugin vacuum in each cab.
  • Everyone cleans the cabs when they are done their shifts. This includes cleaning steering wheel, consoles, levers, ipads etc with sanitizer. Cleaning up garbage, and vacuuming floors, door handles.
  • When transitioning (and you are person B), leave 10 minutes, with window and door open before entering newly cleaned cab.
  • If its the end of the day, leave window open to freshen up cab.
  • When going home: store supplies in a designated area outside (like the garage). Keep everything away from children and wash clothes daily. Always have a second set of clothes on hand.
Thoughts? Things to add/remove?

When should staff stay home?
Pretty well all good ideas, although I think 鈥榓iring out鈥 the cab is probably not gonna do much. Bigger issue is where does one source all the sanitizer/masks etc etc. Ive got an order in with Greggs and it鈥檒l be a few weeks. Can鈥檛 find anything anywhere.
 

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Pretty well all good ideas, although I think 鈥榓iring out鈥 the cab is probably not gonna do much. Bigger issue is where does one source all the sanitizer/masks etc etc. Ive got an order in with Greggs and it鈥檒l be a few weeks. Can鈥檛 find anything anywhere.
Bleach and water works just fine. Don't need to order that anywhere. Or if you do then I'm not the only stupid one here.

CVDS. Its like TDS.
 

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Yesterday there was a pallet of 5 gallon pales of hand sanitizer at Canadian Tire in south Calgary. $19.99 each. Maybe some other stores have them as well. Don't see them on there web site. Put a pale with pump in every cab. Lather it on heavy and often. ha
 
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