Alberta Barley

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May 9

7.8 Billion Pandemic Responses – A COVID-19 farm diary

Posted on May 9 By: Victoria Decker

The following is an excerpt from GrainsWest Magazine from the COVID-19 Farm Diary series. Story written by Sarah Hoffman 


One of the non-COVID-19 challenges we faced on our farm this spring is dealing with flax straw—a tenacious material that needs to be removed from the field before seeding. We had dropped it in windrows behind the combine last fall but it blew all over the field in a windstorm before the baler arrived. We finally accumulated it into bunches suitable for burning this spring, but then we faced dry conditions, strong winds and a county fire restriction that prevented us from burning.

Just like burning straw, controlling the spread of a pandemic involves taking precautions. 

The last 24 hours has brought some rain—enough for us to safely burn the straw.

I mention this because I realized that there are similarities between fires and pandemics. They can spread—often in unpredictable and exponential ways. There are many factors that can influence outcomes in a specific situation. The actions of one or a few can have consequences far beyond their own lives. We will be taking many precautions to prevent the spread of the fire beyond our own field, just like people are taking many precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the results are never 100 per cent certain.

Uncertainty produces varying reactions in the human psyche. As I have consumed news stories, I’ve heard some people complain that the pandemic induced restrictions are too limiting, while others think stricter measures are necessary.

Read the full story here 

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