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Don't Neglect Safety This Harvest Season

Harvest is here (or close, depending on your location). It's about the craziest time of the year on most farms in the Corn Belt, making it tough to be patient and take the time required for safety on the roadways between your farm and the fields in which you'll be picking corn and harvesting soybeans.

Slow down and remember some critical guidelines for being safe on the road this fall, especially where you are likely to encounter motorists who may or may not be familiar with what to do when they run into a combine or tractor on the road.

"Farms and farm equipment have grown much larger since rural roads were engineered decades ago. Unmarked intersections and rail crossings on narrow, winding blacktops and gravel roads create dangerous situations for farmers moving equipment from field to field," according to a University of Missouri (MU) Extension report. Karen Funkenbusch, MU Extension safety specialist recommends the following steps to stay safe on the road this harvest season:

  • Use SMV signs on all farm equipment.

  • Plan travel to avoid high-traffic times.

  • Travel after daybreak and before dark.

  • Use hand turn signals.

  • Install wide mirrors to see traffic and be aware of blind spots.

  • If possible, have someone follow or precede you to alert drivers.

  • Be aware of drowsiness. Stop for a lunch break.

  • If traffic is piling up behind you, pull over to road shoulders, if available.

  • Turn your radio down when approaching intersections and rail crossings. Look and listen.

  • Be sure that all appropriate signal lights are installed and working, including headlights.

Yet, it's not just about roadway safety. There are hazards all around the farm this time of the year, making it critical to stay aware and alert at all times on the farm this fall. Here are a few more features to help you stay safe this harvest.

Roadway Safety During Harvest


Stay Safe This Harvest Season

Review Grain Bin Safety Rules


Combine Safety Begins With The Operator

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