Courtesy John Deere
Maintain the farm equipment used for spring planting to reduce frustrations this season and practice farm safety.
While you may be eager to head back out to the farm this spring, setting realistic work priorities and being prepared for planting season are among the most important safety tips for farmers to remember.
“Farmers often feel pressured to get out into the fields too early, and that can often cause problems,” says Bill Field, a farm safety specialist with the Purdue University Extension’s Agricultural Safety and Health program. “Taking time now to get ready for planting season will prevent more mishaps in the long run.”
Field offers these tips to farmers for a seamless transition to the growing season:
1. Maintain Farm Equipment
Preparing machinery and performing preventative maintenance is a good place to start for farm safety. If something seems like it may fail later, change it now.
“It only adds frustrations when equipment breaks down in the field, so farmers should be sure to start the season confident with their machines,” Field says.
An assessment of previous years can help prepare for this year, too. Looking at previous years’ problems and making changes before planting starts can save time and energy once the season begins.
2. Begin to Exercise
Stress and fatigue often present greater risk for on-farm accidents. Field recommends farmers keep themselves in good physical condition heading into the growing season.
“I encourage farmers to get out a few weeks before planting and exercise a little more than usual to help them personally prepare for the weeks ahead,” he says.
3. Carry a Cell Phone
“Farmers should look at their phones as a safety feature, not an inconvenience,” Field says.
Having cell phones handy at all times can save time and energy and provide timely help in case of emergency.
4. Share the Roads
Sharing the roads is always an issue this time of year. Drivers of both passenger vehicles and farm equipment need to be careful and considerate of one another.