Harvest time is upon us and that means the roads will contain more slow moving vehicles, the roadsides will become vacant and many farmers and farm families will be putting in long, hard hours of work.
As the hustle and bustle of harvest is occurring, remember that there is no room for forgetting the importance of safety or of sleep.
Thus, farmers need to remember to take frequent breaks and get enough sleep before returning to work the next day.
When traveling down the road, remember to be a good citizen. Farmers should make sure their equipment has working lights (front, rear and turn signals), and that they have a slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign posted where everyone can see it.
If you come up on a vehicle that has a SMV sign, don't honk your horn or try to pass because it puts everyone in danger.
Instead, keep a safe distance between you and the farm equipment so you are able to stop quickly if the need arises and leave early when trying to make your destination by a specific time.
Farmers should be reminded to make sure their SMV signs are in good condition, can easily be seen and replace them if they are damaged.
When traveling on the road, farmers should try to remember to turn on their hazard lights to help notify other drivers that they are there.
With all the hustle and bustle going on, it is easy for farmers to get distracted and not pay attention to the small things. However, by not paying attention, a tragedy can occur.
A few things farmers need to pay attention to before starting up the tractor or combine include ensuring that all safety locks and safety equipment are present. Realize that safety locks are there for a reason and it isn't to slow you down.
Additionally, make sure your rollover protective structures are on your tractors and that all equipment shields are in place.
If you have a break down and have to remove the shield to make the repair, remember to put it back in place before starting the machine up.
Not all farm accidents occur when operating or working on equipment.
Accidents can occur when a farmer is working in or around a grain bin.
In instances like that, a farmer can become entrapped by the flowing grain.
Therefore, it is important that when working with flowing grain that you have someone else with you who could contact emergency personnel if needed.
Similarly, children and teenagers should not be allowed in grain bins where they are exposed to a dangerous atmosphere. Grain entrapment is a serious issue that has been publicized heavily in the state in recent years and it is important that individuals take precautions to prevent this from happening.
Farming is a dangerous occupation, but one that is needed to help support the world. Therefore, it is important that both farm residents and non-farm residents understand the various safety precautions that need to be taken when working around farm equipment.
By having patience, farmers and non-farming individuals can help improve the safety of our roads this time of year.
Additionally, farmers need to ensure that someone is aware of where they are working and what they are doing, that they have a first aid kit with them at all times, and stop working when they are tired so they can help improve their chances of experiencing a pleasant harvest season.
If you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at email@example.com.
Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* Saturday -- Nature Day, Clay County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.-noon. Free Raptor presentation at 11 a.m.,
* Sept. 13 -- Ag Outlook Program, 8:30 a.m., Clay or Owen County Extension Office. RSVP with appropriate office by Friday,
* Sept. 16 -- Clay County Ag Advisory Board meeting, 6 p.m., Extension Office, and
* Sept. 18 -- Pasture/Grazing Management Field Day, 8-11 a.m., Gosport. Contact 812-829-2605 for more information.