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Farm safety a must during harvest

(CIFN file photo)

BLOOMINGTON – With another harvest season upon us, motorists should be on the lookout for large farm equipment on the roads and only pass when it is safe to do so.

“We like to remind farmers most accidents happen during sunrise and sunset when that vision impairs drivers,” explained Eric Vanasdale, senior loss control representative for Country Financial. “Try to avoid that as best as you can when you are out there moving equipment.”

Vanasdale notes many farm accidents happen when breakdowns occur and people get in a hurry.

“Put those shields back on and make sure everything is lubricated and get ready so you don’t have those breakdowns in the field.”

When it comes to tractors and machinery, Country Financial says to never allow extra riders on tractors or other machinery with only one seat. Tractor and machinery steps should be kept free of mud, grease and tools. Also, every tractor, combine and truck should be equipped with at least one ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Experts report that two out of every five agricultural work deaths involve tractors. They should always be started from the tractor seat and never from the ground using an unsafe bypass method, such as shorting the starter or holding the clutch by hand. Farmers also need to make sure turn signals, flashers and lights work on all farm vehicles.

According to the insurance industry, fire is considered a leading cause of farm property and crop loss. A professional electrician should inspect electrical systems for problems and fuse boxes and circuit breakers should be protected but accessible. Farmers should always check for and avoid power lines when moving equipment and portable augers.

More information can be obtained online at or by contacting your local representative.

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