The COVID-19 situation in Iowa is changing rapidly. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working alongside the Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to monitor the situation closely. This page will be updated as additional information becomes available, based on guidance from the CDC and IDPH.
Resource Coordination Center
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has formed a Resource Coordination Center (RCC) to support Iowa livestock producers affected by the COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. COVID-19 outbreaks in the workforce are causing many meat processing facilities to run below normal operating capacity. That’s creating challenges for producers who are trying to convert livestock to food products. The Department is collaborating with public and private partners to operate the RCC, including the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), the Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Through the RCC, livestock industry experts, state agencies and technical specialists will help producers explore every option to harvest livestock and meet the protein needs of Iowans. The RCC will also connect producers with technical resources as they work through difficult and emotional decisions, including animal welfare euthanasia and disposal.
Iowa livestock producers can call the RCC at (515) 725-1005, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., or fill out a help form anytime at iowafarmerhelp.com.
COVID-19 has caused supply chain disruptions that are forcing producers to make emotional and stressful decisions. If producers are feeling overwhelmed, they can call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 to get free, confidential support, 24/7.
Options for Pesticide Applicators
On April 2, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a Proclamation that temporarily suspends the regulatory provisions in Iowa Codes § 206.5(3), 206.5(4) and 206.6(1) for the duration of the Proclamation and any future extensions.
- First-time commercial pesticide applicators who obtain a private applicator certification can be employed and operate under the instructions and control of a certified commercial applicator.
- Individuals can take the private applicator certification test online during this public health emergency.
- First-time commercial, public or private applicators can apply pesticides under the direct supervision of a certified applicator without an applicator certification.
- Commercial cleaning services can apply disinfecting or sanitizing pesticides indoors where humans live, work, or congregate without a commercial pesticide applicator license.
- A Proclamation signed on March 22 provided regulatory relief to pesticide applicators who were certified through Dec. 31, 2019. These individuals can retain their applicator status and now have until Dec. 31, 2020, to submit the testing or training required to renew their certifications.
Additional details about these waivers are available here.
Pesticide license applications and payments can now be completed online through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s new pesticide self-service portal at iowaagriculture.force.com/pesticideapplicator.
Drive-Up Pesticide Applicator Testing
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is offering drive-up commercial pesticide applicator exams in various locations around the state. Individuals will take the tests in their automobiles to maintain social distancing guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 21, drive-up testing will be offered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Des Moines, Ft. Dodge and Iowa City. The Des Moines and Ft. Dodge locations are limited to 20 people per session. The Iowa City location is limited to 15 people per session. To register, visit https://data.iowaagriculture.gov/pest_signup/.
Additional testing dates and locations will be added. Watch for more information at iowaagriculture.gov.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created delays in processing and mailing pesticide applicator cards and certifications. Applicators can view the status of their certifications on the Department’s public search portal.
Questions can be directed to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau at email@example.com or 515-281-8591.
Register for Temporary Private Certification Online Exam (This waiver only applies to agricultural-land applications. It does not include aerial, lawn, turf or pest control applications.)
State Registered Pesticides for Use Against COVID-19
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship pesticide program oversees safe and judicious use of pesticides in Iowa. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a list of disinfectants by EPA Product Number (primary registrant) for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-281-8591.
The Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and the European Food Safety Authority are in full agreement that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has spread through food or food packaging. Previous coronavirus epidemics likewise showed no evidence of having been spread through food or packaging, according to an article from ISU Extension and Outreach.
No Evidence COVID-19 Is Transmitted through Food and Food Packaging | ISU Extension and Outreach
Specialty Crop Producers Resources
COVID-19: Iowa Business Recovery Assistance | Iowa Economic Development
On April 24, Gov. Reynolds issued a Proclamation allowing Farmers Markets to be held as long as they comply with the following guidelines:
- Only farm products and food vendors will be allowed.
- Musical performances, children's activities, contests and other entertainment or organized activities are prohibited.
- Common seating areas, picnic tables or dining areas are prohibited.
- There must be at least six feet between vendors' booths.
- Customers and vendors must follow social distancing, hygiene and and public health guidelines.
Guidance for Farmers Markets | IDALS, IDPH, DIA, ISU Extension
Guidance for Farmers Markets (Multiple Languages) | Iowa Department of Human Rights
FAQ for Farmers Markets | DIA
Farmers Market and U-Pick Best Practices and Regulations | ISU Extension
Livestock Auction Markets
COVID-19 is currently circulating in Iowa communities. All Iowa businesses have a responsibility to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is critical that livestock auction markets institute immediate changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their staff, sellers, and buyers.
On April 24, Gov. Reynolds signed a Proclamation stating, "all auctions with more than 10 people present in person continue to be prohibited until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020, at all locations and venues, except for livestock auctions that only include food animals and farm product auctions, which may continue to operate so long as there are no more than 25 people present in person. People who remain inside parked cars, trucks, or other enclosed motor vehicles shall not be counted in considering the number of people present, provided all people remain inside the vehicle at all times."
Guidance for Auction Markets | Updated 4/29
The Department will continue business-critical dairy, meat and poultry and livestock inspections during the COVID-19 outbreak. Inspectors are following increased biosecurity protocols and will call ahead before visiting a licensee's facility.
Animal and Livestock Care
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working with state and federal public and animal health officials to monitor it closely.
At this time, the CDC and the World Health Organization do not believe animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19, but we always encourage animal owners to practice good biosecurity. This includes washing your hands frequently.
- If you are sick, try to limit contact with your animals until we learn more about COVID-19. If possible, find someone else to care for the animal(s) until you are feeling better.
- If your animal appears to be sick, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
This is a good reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. You should have a plan to care for your animals if any situation, including a disease-outbreak or natural disaster, temporarily disrupts daily activities.
SARS-CoV-2 in animals, including pets | American Veterinary Medical Association
FAQs for Veterinarians and Veterinary Clinics | American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal Services' Role in COVID-19 Support | University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine
Interim recommendations for intake of companion animals from households where humans with COVID-19 are present | American Veterinary Medical Association
COVID-19 Notice of Suspension of Fuel Requirements
How to donate PPE | IDPH
Health Screening Algorithm | IDPH
COVID-19 in Iowa | State of Iowa
COVID-19 FAQs | USDA
COVID-19 update hub | American Trucking Associations
Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers | US Dept of Homeland Security CISA
Production of Hand Sanitizer | Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities | Volunteer Iowa