‘It’s almost business as usual’: Manitoba ag industry largely unaffected by COVID-19

One of Manitoba’s largest economic drivers is staying on track despite the COVID-19 outbreak, according to one expert.

The province exported over $6 billion in agricultural products in 2018, and ag reporter Harry Siemens is hopeful the ongoing coronavirus pandemic won’t put too much of a dent in that number in 2020.

The 2020 growing season is just a few weeks away, and Siemens tells 680 CJOB most producers in his area near Winkler are prepared with seed, fertilizer and everything else they need to get started.

“We’ve got about 5 or 6 weeks until they put a new crop in, and once that gets going, they’re going,” Siemens remarks.

“Then we’ve got until late summer and fall to think about how to market it.”

Siemens says farmers did have some qualms about prices, potential border closures and a lack of foreign workers, but the federal government has done well to calm those fears.

The Canada-U.S. border closed on Friday to all non-essential travel, but trade is still permitted.

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