We continue to monitor the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and would like to advise you that Puerto Rico has enacted some significant restrictions. Most businesses are closed. The Puerto Rico Winter Farm is operating under the bio-science exemption as is the rest of the seed industry on the island.
As we continue to feel pressure to keep workers from congregating and keep workers at home we would like to ask for your patience and understanding. We will make every effort to maintain our level of service. In the event that Puerto Rico chooses to enforce further measures or illnesses among employees begin to occur, we will focus on maintaining and protecting the crops that are in the field, in storage and under our care.
Currently, seed shipments are still going out. Seed shipments have been suspended by the PRDA. We see no immediate threat to your projects. We only ask for your patience and understanding when it comes to notes, special requests and instructions. Many of you are unable to travel. If there are ways to simplify your harvest instructions please do so.
In short Puerto Rico, with its limited health care services and aging population, is locked down tighter than anywhere else in the US that we are aware of. As you know it takes good people to get the job done and as you read these good people are doing their best for you under some difficult circumstances. We appreciate your business and understanding.
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Illinois Crop operates a winter farm in Puerto Rico, where the growing conditions are ideal due to the region’s warm climate, rich soil and drip irrigation system.
Illinois Crop has over 30 years of experience on the island. While not without its challenges Puerto Rico offers one of the best options for winter work for plant breeders and seed producers. The farm also supports other seed companies on the island by offering seed certification and phytosanitary inspections.
Further, the Puerto Rican south coast offers several advantages over other common winter-farm locations.
Puerto Rico vs. Florida
No risk of freezing temps in Puerto Rico.
Consistent daytime temps in the high 80s with evening temps never falling below 60.
The tropical speedup phenomenon that results in faster turnaround times.
Puerto Rico vs. Hawaii
The commute to Puerto Rico is shorter and less costly.
Shipping from Puerto Rico to the Midwest is faster and less expensive.
In comparisons of the same seed planted in Puerto Rico and Hawaii on the same date in November, the Puerto Rican plot was almost two weeks ahead of the Hawaiian plot at harvest.