Editor’s Desk: FERN’s coronavirus coverage

Like you, we’ve had our eyes glued on coronavirus developments, as the defining story of our times unfolds. We’ve also been hard at work looking at the effect of the disease on the food supply. Just yesterday, FERN broke a story by Esther Honig on the U.S. embassy in Mexico City halting new visa applications for farmworkers heading to the U.S. (it was followed up by Reuters and NPR). A lot of this coverage has been in our Ag Insider site (tag: coronavirus), so visit that link for all our stories, which are in front of the paywall at this time. Or sign up for the Ag Insider newsletter.

Here are a few of our stories so far:

U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico to shut down, threatening labor supply for American farms
MEXICO CITY — American farmers are bracing for major delays in the arrival of workers through the H-2A visa program after U.S. officials announced late Monday that the embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. consulates in Mexico will close, effective March 18, due to health and safety concerns caused by the global pandemic Covid-19.

Empty shelves will soon be ‘a thing of the past,’ says grocery supply expert
To better understand the grocery supply chain and how stores are stocked, FERN turned to Dr. Ananth Iyer, a professor of supply chain management at Purdue University and director of the university’s Global Supply Chain Management Initiative. We discussed why shortages happen, how stores are restocked, and what we can all do to best stock our pantries.

As schools close, USDA vows to deliver boxes of food to some students in rural America
The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it will be delivering boxes of food to children affected by school closures due to the novel coronavirus in rural America.

Cattle and biofuels clamor for aid, as Schumer proposes broader plan

Local farmers need federal support, Rep. Pingree says

A Brooklyn co-op hustles as food demand spikes

Covid-19 relief bill suspends SNAP work and training requirements

We will have more coverage as this story develops. Please consider a donation to help us do this work. If you are in media and are interested in republishing our items contact sam@thefern.org.