The weather this spring hasn’t been kind for farmers who are gearing up to plant their corn, soybeans and other crops.
Conditions in western Iowa are incredibly dry, sparking a string of grass fires that damaged farm buildings and equipment last month. Meanwhile, in eastern Iowa, many farmers have yet to turn a wheel due to persistent wet and cool conditions.
The one universal factor seems to be unrelenting wind. The National Weather Service has issued 39 wind advisories in Iowa so far this year, tied for the second most since it started keeping records on them in 2006.
The rush of planting season can also mean long days as farmers work around the clock to take advantage of narrow planting windows.
During this busy season, remember to slow down and avoid taking shortcuts that could have life-threatening impacts. Just last week, we heard reports of two fatal farm accidents.
Farm safety specialists recommend farmers get plenty of rest and check to make sure equipment safety guards are in place and warning lights are working. If you’re working alone, you should let someone know your location and check in from time to time. Ask for help if you need it.
For the rest of us, we need to remember to have patience when we come up behind slow-moving farm equipment on the roads and wait until it’s safe to pass. If we all remember to slow down and relax a little, the work will get done, and we can avoid tragic circumstances.