Farm Safety During the 2016 Harvest
As we approach the 2016 corn and soybean harvest here in Benton County, it’s a great time for everyone driving the county roads to take a moment and reflect on farm safety. More farm accidents occur during the fall than any other time of the year and it’s everyone’s responsibility for safety.
Slow Moving Vehicles
One big danger during harvest are the slow moving vehicle on county roads. As farmers move equipment from field to field or haul grain on highways and rural roads, be on the lookout for flashing lights and bright slow moving vehicle signs. As a public service announcement, pay extra attention when driving on rural roads during harvest season, especially before and after work or school. Farm vehicles are large and move much slower than cars, the best advice is to slow down, pay attention and stay off cell phones while driving.
Here are a few tips for our farming friends & the general public to help make harvest is a safe one:
- Sunsets & sunrises can be blinding during the morning or evening commute in the fall. Please, pay attention and slow down at road crossings & intersections.
- Farmers, please make sure that Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs are clearly visible on all off-road vehicles. Make sure SMV signs are in good condition and properly mounted.
- Use proper vehicle lighting & make sure your headlights and brake lights are functioning.
- Tractors & combines should use flashers at all times while on public roads. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) recommends two flashing amber lights, mounted at least 42 inches high, in both the front and rear.
- Turn on your headlights 30 minutes before sunset, until 30 minutes after sunrise. Also use headlights whenever insufficient light or unfavorable weather conditions exist. If your vehicle has automatic headlamps, check to make sure the switch is in the correct position.
- When trailering or pulling wagons, inspect hitches to ensure they are sturdy and properly mounted before towing or heading down the road. If equipped, use the safety chains.
- Be patient & share the road.
Benton County Sheriff Don Munson adds, “We need to remember that our local farmers are out there trying to do their job as safely as possible. Farm equipment is oversized and that means we need to exercise over-caution. Pay attention to your surroundings and be please patient.”
Free Conservation Discussion & Field Tour for Women Farmland Owners in Tippecanoe county & Surrounding Indiana County area
July 27th, 2016 and open discussion and field tour is available to any women farm and land owners at the Lilly Nature Center, located at 1620 Lindberg Road, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906.
“We estimate that women now own or co-own between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland in the Midwest and they are very interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land,” said Jennifer Filipiak, associate Midwest director for the American Farmland Trust. “Our goal is to connect these women with each other and with the resource professionals who can help them with their farmland management goals.”
Women Caring for the LandSM meetings bring together landowners in an informal learning format for a women-only morning discussion followed by a more in-depth look at the characteristics of healthy soil and farming practices that promote it. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources. A participant from last year’s learning circle commented that is it “wonderful to hear experts who were women sharing their information and passion.”
Following lunch, area conservationists will lead a bus tour to view conservation practices on the ground. Discussion will focus on soil health and cover crops, but will also include water quality, wildlife management and government cost-share programs. The Women Caring for the LandSM format was developed by the Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in Iowa. “We continually hear from women how grateful they are for a women-only learning environment,” commented Bridget Holcomb, executive director of the WFAN, “and they tell us that they are able to discuss issues that they wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in any other setting.”
On July 27, coffee and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting will start at 9. Lunch is provided, and the program will end with refreshments at 3 p.m.
RSVP by 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 22 to Chris Remley, Tippecanoe County Soil & Water Conservation District at (765) 474-9992, extension 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need accommodation please notify us when you RSVP. And feel free to bring a female friend or family member, just let us know when you RSVP!
This session of Women Caring for the LandSM is sponsored by the Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District in collaboration with Women4theLand and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Staff from the SWCD, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other conservationists will be on hand to answer your questions.
More information can be found at the Women Caring for the Land website here: http://www.wfan.org/our-
Article Provided by Tippecanoe County FSA Office & the USDA
Tippecanoe County FSA Office
1812 Troxel DR, STE C2
Lafayette, IN 47909
County Executive Director:
Farm Loan Manager:
Talking shop with the ‘Voice of American Agriculture’
Situated at the dead-end of a dirt road in North Carolina, his two Jack Russell terriers by his side and a view of his horse farm, Max Armstrong, spoke with me over the phone in his distinguished radio voice, “I’ve got to live out my childhood dream for the last 40 years.”
As a boy, growing up on the farm in Southern Indiana, the nationally-known host of ‘This Week in Agribusiness’ and the ‘WGN Radio Saturday Morning Show’ dreamed of reporting on the events, news and issues important to the Agriculture community. Now, some forty years later, he generously shared with me his good fortune, hard work, as well as the challenges and opportunities he believes we are facing in agriculture today.
“I am optimistic about the future of Agriculture,” said Armstrong, “I encourage producers, farm families, and everyone living in a rural community to promote the increasingly important role that agriculture plays in the state of Indiana.”
What excites you most about Agriculture today?
“Everyone talks about technology, and I am excited about the capabilities of producers to analyze fields with UAV’s, making better decisions with farm data, and their ability to address problems faster and more efficiently. Just as exciting is the generational shift to tomorrow’s farmer. Years of sustained profitability have helped farming families’ position the next generation to be successful – because it’s not easy being a new or young farmer!”
Max went on to commend younger producers for their willingness to embrace technology and maintain the values instilled in them from their parents and grandparents. “Tomorrow’s farming operation enters a time of greater competition, but with the right tools and work ethic, there is room to be successful.”
What are the major obstacles or challenges we face in Agriculture?
“More than ever, farmers, business leaders and members of the rural community should be engaged in the political process. Whether we like it or not, the Ag community voice needs to be heard. By the time you get to Washington D.C. there are precious few representing the Ag community, but at the local and state level, there is a lot of opportunity.”
Armstrong commented that spreading the message of Agriculture can easily become part of our daily routine. “Every time you see your local officials, whether at the coffee shop or annual parade, shake their hand, and remind them about the importance of the Ag constituency.”
What advice would you give to todays and tomorrow’s farmer?
“We all recognize that it’s a competitive market. But I hope and pray that we keep the ‘family to family’ and ‘neighbor helping neighbor’ philosophy alive. Building relationships is the key to success in more than just farming; you never know when the person you just met could be sitting across the table from you, in a position to help you.”
On many occasions during our conversation, we circled back to this philosophy on life. Max reminded me several times, “Take care of the people around you and you will be successful; both on the farm and off the farm.”
What advice would you give young people today?
“You get a lot of wisdom out of the classroom, but the best classroom in the world is on the knee of your grandparents and parents. Sit with your parents, and listen to what they have to say. Mom and Dad may not be a whiz with their iPad or smartphone, but their life experience is worth more than you may realize.”
We covered a lot of ground in our conversation, from the hard work it takes to be successful in Agribusiness, not being afraid to get your boots dirty, and we even shared quite a few laughs about his iconic mustache and a our mutual interest in antique tractors. The conversation continually circled back to Max’s philosophy and belief that we can all relate to; whatever your path in life, put in the hard work, resolve to help your neighbors, and you always get back what you put into something.
… And for those that may be wondering, Armstrong has only shaved his iconic mustache one time since graduating from Purdue in 1975. “The one time I did shave it, my wife and daughter were quick to tell me that I needed to start growing it back immediately,” said Armstrong with a laugh.
Where to See & Hear “The Voice of American Agriculture”
About the Author
The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author, Purdue Graduate and Farmland Broker Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog
Wooded land full of wildlife!
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