Hoosier farmers see decrease in market sales because of COVID-19 pandemic

Less customers at farmers' markets means more changes for producers.

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 7:10 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2020 10:17 PM

AUBURN, Ind. (WFFT) - Less customers at farmers' markets means more changes for producers.

Tadd Petersen of Narrow Road Farm in Auburn says farmers have seen a rough 30% plunge in sales this year because of COVID-19.

“Because of the pandemic, people are less prone to going into public spaces such as farmer's markets,” said Petersen.

Petersen and his staff responded with an online farmers' market where people can visit their website while they also distribute produce around greater Fort Wayne and transitioned to home deliveries in the last two weeks.

"Home delivery and those kinds of options are important for farmers to think about as we’re navigating these interesting times,” said Petersen.

Ken Zimmerman of Fruited Plain Seeds in Craigville says his sales have increased over the past couple of months, but only because customers have rushed to purchase meat in large quantities.

Zimmerman says this has forced him to specify how much customers are allowed to buy so he won't run out of supply since livestock orders aren't as readily available like they were prior to the virus.

“If somebody wants a large amount there’s no way to accommodate them now without sacrificing your regular sales,” said Zimmerman.

Mikkal Hodge of Hodge Family Farm in Alexandria agrees that sales have plummeted.

But he says transitioning to a virtual farmers' market called Market Wagon in the last month and a half has been a saving grace for his farm.

"It was a little slow the first couple of weeks but the last three or four weeks we’ve done very well with the produce that we have,” said Hodge.

Both Hodge and Petersen say farmers have struggled with maintaining their ripened crops since they've had to throw much of them away due to a decline in customer purchase.

Petersen says farmers just want to serve their customers the best product and keep them healthy.

He says, “Particularly if we move into a space where there’s food shortages or just like we’ve seen this year with meat processing plants and things of that nature. Buying direct from a farm is really the best option to ensure your family is food secure.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 145850

Reported Deaths: 4635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26242603
Cuyahoga17196644
Hamilton12850309
Montgomery7583152
Lucas7187358
Butler5727102
Summit5172249
Marion307247
Mahoning3002279
Warren294748
Stark2771168
Pickaway263444
Lorain227786
Delaware216620
Fairfield203850
Columbiana192180
Licking187562
Trumbull1852131
Clark175938
Wood173772
Clermont165520
Lake158649
Medina143939
Allen138869
Miami138049
Greene137632
Portage109466
Mercer107717
Tuscarawas91620
Erie91244
Wayne90866
Ross86123
Richland80819
Madison78712
Darke76839
Belmont71227
Geauga70547
Hancock67410
Ashtabula65148
Athens6292
Lawrence61618
Shelby5909
Auglaize5709
Putnam55823
Sandusky55520
Huron5337
Union5002
Scioto4746
Ottawa46630
Seneca45314
Preble42213
Muskingum3802
Holmes3777
Jefferson3284
Logan3013
Henry30012
Champaign2943
Perry2889
Defiance28710
Clinton28213
Brown2812
Knox28015
Morrow2522
Washington25123
Hardin25013
Fulton2371
Jackson2344
Coshocton23111
Crawford2276
Fayette2266
Ashland2244
Highland2203
Wyandot20212
Williams2013
Gallia18612
Meigs17210
Pike1670
Hocking1619
Guernsey1578
Carroll1517
Adams1234
Van Wert1143
Monroe10918
Paulding1050
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Decatur
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Warmer Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events