College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Through Shared Equipment and Tools

It is not uncommon for farmers to share their farm equipment with friends, farm workers and family members. Some farm cooperatives also have shared farm equipment, including tractors, combine harvesters and planters, and hand tools.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers should adopt new methods of sanitation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus is spread by contact and droplets. For example, the virus can be spread when a person sneezes or coughs and leaves droplets on a surface or shared object. To prevent the spread of the virus, farmers and farm worker must practice vigorous personal hygiene.

The following practices can help to prevent or reduce the spread of the virus.

  • Always wash your hands properly with soap and clean water before putting on  disposable gloves.
  • Wear disposable garments over your coverall when operating a shared tractor.
  • Wash down your tractor cabin with soap and clean water; then sanitize/disinfect. Note: You cannot disinfect over a muddy surface.
  • Disinfect the tractor cabin before each new use.
  • All tractor users must sanitize/disinfect their boots before entering the tractor.
  • Open tractors must be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Wipe and disinfect your hand tools after each use.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. Do not use your regular gloves.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting products. Visit the EPA website to find a list of EPA-approved disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Train all farm workers on proper cleaning and sanitizing.

For more information

Contact Jimo Ibrahim, Ph.D., agriculture health and safety specialist, at