Spring planting season has arrived in Highland County. Farmers have faced a challenging spring due to wet weather conditions, and in particular the large quantities of rain we received last week have delayed planting.
Due to the weather delays, when the planting conditions are right again, you will see many area farmers rushing to plant their crops.
When you see farm equipment on the road, the first thing you should do is slow down. It isn’t an inconvenience to take a few extra minutes to ensure your safety and the safety of the individual driving the farm machinery.
Farm equipment is large and slow-moving. The equipment is marked with reflective slow moving vehicle emblems (SMV), reflective markers, and flashing lights to make the equipment easier to see in low-light conditions.
In most cases, tractor drivers will pull over and let traffic pass when it is safe to do so. However, passing is not advised near intersections. Passing is also not advised on roads with no passing zones (double yellow lines) or on roads where oncoming traffic visibility is reduced due to hills, curves, or dips in the road. Be sure to look for hand signals from the tractor driver indicating that it is safe to pass.
When it is safe to pass farm equipment, be sure to identify the edges of all of the equipment. In many cases, attachments to tractors are larger than the tractor itself.
Slow down, use caution and common sense when driving near farm equipment this spring. Take a few extra minutes to protect yourself, your passengers, and your local farmers as we all go on drives this spring.
Next week on Southern
Ohio Farm Show
Next week’s episode on the Southern Ohio Farm Show will cover information about canning with Margaret Jenkins, Family and Consumer Science Extension educator in Clermont County.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D., is an agriculture and natural resources/community development educator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.