After a rough start to the growing season, the 2019 harvest season has begun in Highland County. This year has been a challenge for even the most patient of farmers, but even if we are excited to be harvesting our grain, it is important to keep safety in mind.
Farmers and other roadway commuters should remember to be mindful of each other. Agricultural equipment is large, slow-moving, and has many blind spots. Allow more room between yourself and agricultural equipment for safety. Be on the lookout for slow-moving vehicle emblems attached to tractors and wagons. Grain trucks generally carry heavy loads and take a considerable distance to stop. Drivers of cars and trucks should remember to drive with caution and provide more distance than normal when entering and exiting the roadways around agricultural equipment and grain trucks.
For farmers, remember to take breaks throughout the day and to take care of yourself. Harvest is a demanding season, and taking care of yourself will help make the process easier. Try to get adequate rest, eat regular meals, and stay hydrated to maintain energy for the long harvesting days. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves and earplugs are also recommended. Take time to care for your mental health as well. As harvest can be a long and lonely season, try to keep in contact with your friends and family, or take a few minutes to do something that you enjoy.
It is not uncommon to have to stop a combine to remove debris from the combine head.
“Even though you are in a hurry to get done, you must always turn off the tractor before you” leave the cab to “check or unclog any piece of equipment” according to Dennis Murphy of Pennsylvania State Extension. Harvest isn’t a race to the finish line, so take extra time to implement safety precautions.
As the harvest season begins, incorporate safety measures into your daily routine to ensure the safety of yourself and others around you.
For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.
* Beef Quality Assurance and Transport Quality Assurance trainings will be held on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 in Xenia. The BQA will start at 5 p.m. and BQA transport will be held at 6:30 p.m. The cost for BQA training is $10 per person. Transport BQA is free to attend. Contact the Greene County Extension Office at 937-372-9971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 24 to register.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D. is an agriculture and natural resources/community development dducator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.