COVID-19 adds to farming and ranching struggles

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 8:02 PM CDT
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Farmers and Ranchers face unique challenges every single day, COVID-19 is adding to many of those struggles.

"This was going to be the year everything got back on to normal and we can actually go out in the fields and get all of our crops planted, and then this things hits," said Walt Bones, a Farmer/Rancher and former South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture.

Flooding has been the top concern for many Farmers in recent years.

"We have the conditions of getting feed in for our cattle, and trying to transport our cattle when they are ready to go," said Jeffrey Gatzke, a Farmer/Rancher in Hitchcock, and the Vice President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau.

COVID-19 is bringing more stress to the job.

"Corn, soybeans, and also it took the livestock prices down, and so now trying to make that work, it's a challenge along with the other conditions we have going on," said Gatzke.

Jeffrey Gatzke is a Farmer and Rancher in Hitchcock. He says the threat of flooding, combined with the impact of COVID-19 is making his life even more difficult.

"The buyers that usually come drive through my yard to look at my cattle to buy them, currently aren't coming through right now," Gatzke said.

Gatzke is confident he and his neighbors will work together during these tough times. He along with others believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

"As far as they day to day activity, we're still calving cows," Bones said.