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Farm projects delayed by COVID construction backlog

The pandemic has dramatically slowed or closed many businesses and raised unemployment, but dairy farmer Lee Kinnard says COVID-19 has spiked demand for builders, creating a backlog in construction projects on the farm. “Builders are really backed up. They’re having issues, you know, with having enough labor, bringing on enough labor, and in some cases even the supplies are getting a little tight.”

Kinnard and his family operate a dairy farm near Casco, Wisconsin, and he tells Brownfield he’s hoping contractors can complete a new feed pad in the next two weeks before the earlier-than-normal corn silage harvest begins. “We think we’re going to get that one done just in the nick of time. We did have a feed shed and a feed kitchen that we were going to be building. I don’t think that’s going to happen until spring. There are just no concrete guys available to get the job done.”

Kinnard tells Brownfield that while businesses like restaurants have struggled because of COVID-19, many people are building, improving, or remodeling their properties, and the construction companies he works with need more laborers.

With the busy construction schedules, Kinnard says his concrete contractors need nearly nine months of lead time before they can schedule his other projects, which rules out finishing any of those before winter.

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