Harvest: Grateful to see harvest going last week! There’s a good article in CropWatch from Roger Elmore, Tom Hoegemeyer, and Todd Whitney regarding how cool weather and reduced solar radiation (sunlight) in August impacted yields. Part of our problem with stalk quality is also due to this. Yield potential can be reduced by cool, cloudy weather yet it can also increase grain fill period allowing for heavier ears as we’ve also seen. You can read the article with full details at https://cropwatch.unl.edu. We would also ask for your input regarding the most important weed problems/issues in your part of the State by completing this survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZV8Z2T.
A reminder for all of us to please be safe during harvest! It was sobering scrolling
through Ag Twitter last week seeing the number of people posting pictures of farm accidents. Most common were truck drivers taking corners too quickly, overturning vehicles. It was extra sobering that some of the accidents led to death of family or friends. Others posted remembrances of this time of year when they lost someone due to a farm accident.
For all of us as we’re on the roads,
please be alert and slow down. It’s also important to talk about safety with teens who drive. Gravel roads are especially dangerous with dust blowing as vehicles travel, limiting visibility. Slow down at intersections. On highways, slow down when coming upon slow-moving equipment. And, be aware of equipment turning. Collisions involving 1,432 Ohio farm vehicles and other motor vehicles were analyzed for a four-year period (1989-1992). Seventy-eight percent of two-vehicle collisions occurred during daylight hours, with a peak occurrence during the time interval from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Forty-two percent of the nighttime crashes were rear-end collisions, compared to 8% of the daylight crashes. Fifty-two percent of daylight crashes occurred when the tractor operator was making a left-hand turn. It’s hard to know if the drivers behind a tractor will try to pass when you want to make a left-hand turn. To avoid this some will pull off to the right and square up to go straight when they want to make a left-hand turn. I also read an interesting publication from Purdue University called “Learning from Truck and Equipment Collisions”-interesting actual accounts and photos. Bottom line: even if the tractor or truck driver wasn’t at fault, there’s a checklist of items that will be asked as the other party will look for any potential way to place fault. I think it’s a helpful read, especially if you have employees within your farm or ag operation: https://ppp.purdue.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PPP-127.pdf.
Reading an article on harvest safety by Iowa State University, I was surprised the greatest number of harvest accidents actually involve slipping or falling off equipment. But it makes sense as people are mounting and dismounting tractors and combines several times a day. Painted metal on ladders and platforms can become slippery especially when wet or with factors such as mud, crop residue, snow, or ice. Reminder to use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery; wear well-fitting shoes with non-slip soles; and recognize that fatigue, stress, drugs/alcohol, and age can affect stability.
Double check where all people are. Keep children away from machinery and grain bins. Double check to make sure all machinery is working properly and that safety shields are in place. When moving equipment, especially grain augers, watch for power lines, keeping equipment at least ten feet from them. Don’t get into grain wagons or bins while the grain is moving. There’s a new film that every farm family should consider seeing called “Silo” where it talks about the dangers of entering grain bins. This week’s Market Journal highlighted the movie and you can learn more here: https://www.silothefilm.com/. Shut down moving equipment when it gets plugged. It only takes a few extra seconds and is well worth it to save a limb. In the rush of harvest season, our ultimate goal is everyone gets home safely each day/night! Here’s wishing you a safe harvest season!