Dakota Farmer

Ag auctions can continue in North Dakota despite COVID-19

Over 100 livestock, equipment and farm auctions are scheduled for the next two months.

March 23, 2020

2 Min Read
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AUCTIONS OK: A crowd gathers for a farm auction. Farm auctions may be held in North Dakota despite COVID-19 restrictions, but ag commissioners ask that precautions be made to limit spread of the virus. Lon Tonneson

Livestock, equipment and farm auctions can continue in North Dakota despite COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.

“Agriculture provides critical and essential functions for all Americans. We recognize this and understand that livestock markets and ag auction sales still need to happen,” says Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner. “There are currently over 100 ag auction sales scheduled for the next two months. We understand the need but ask that certain precautions are taken to mitigate the risk.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends considering a number of factors when determining whether to postpone or cancel a mass gathering, including:

  • The overall number of attendees

  • The number of people attending who are at a greater risk of more serious illness

  • The density of attendees within a confined area

  • The potential economic impact to participants, attendees, staff and the larger community

  • The level of transmission in your local community and the level of transmission in the areas from which your attendees will travel

Taking these factors into consideration, Goehring says livestock auction markets and ag auctions can take certain precautions to limit contact between people.

Many auction companies and livestock markets are limiting attendance to bidders and buyer onlys. Where possible, they will offer online bidding and viewing of the sale. People are encouraged to limit contact and maintain distance between those attending auctions.

“A positive is that most ag auction sales happen outside, and many livestock auction markets offer an option to view the sale remotely,” Goehring says. “With a few adjustments, auctions can continue with the essential role they play in agriculture.

“We strongly urge those not feeling well, non-essential and at-risk people to avoid auctions. If your attendance is essential, respect social distancing and practice good hygiene.”

Source: North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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