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COVID-19 Statement from UMass Extension

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March 20, 2020

Dear UMass Extension Clients, Friends, and Stakeholders,

As you are probably aware, operations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have been significantly reduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to student activities, this also applies to research and the facilities managed by UMass Extension and the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment. Current information on the UMass closure can be found at https://www.umass.edu/coronavirus/. Current information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is available at https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.

Current Massachusetts and University policy have the effect of temporarily suspending most of the on-campus services that we provide, including but not limited to:

  • Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab
  • Plant Disease Diagnostics Lab
  • Hot Water Seed Treatment
  • Nematode Analysis
  • Weed, Insect, Turfgrass, and Invasive Plant Identification
  • Public access to all farm properties

These services will be suspended until at least April 6, 2020. Until further notice, please do not send or deliver samples to the campus, as we cannot process them.

In addition, all in-person UMass Extension events scheduled through April 6 have been canceled or postponed, including pesticide exam preparation and recertification courses, MassAggie workshops, and the Spring Kickoff for Landscapers. All professional staff are working remotely and are unable to travel for work at this time. We are doing our best to maintain and expand our remote educational services and to continue to participate remotely in meetings and events where possible.

We will evaluate and revise our plans as circumstances evolve, and additional cancellations of events scheduled after April 6 are possible. We are also working to identify ways to offer as many services and educational opportunities as possible under these circumstances, and hope to announce new offerings as they are developed. We deeply value all those who partner with us and rely upon us, and will endeavor to continue to support you and achieve our mission to the best of our ability under these challenging circumstances.

At this time, the TickReport Risk Assessment and Passive Surveillance Program, not part of UMass Extension, remains open. Tick samples can continue to be submitted via https://www.tickreport.com/ at this time. Please contact TickReport with further questions and updates on the status of their service.

If you have questions, please contact the following individuals:

We realize this is a challenging time for everyone and we thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to check the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (https://ag.umass.edu/) and UMass Extension’s Greenhouse Crops & Floriculture Program (https://ag.umass.edu/greenhouse) for more updates.

Topics: 
Commercial Horticulture