Denise Anderson Ten tips for safe harvest


“What are those papers you have laying there?” my neighbor Alvin asked as we sat in the coffee shop on a recent soggy morning. We all appreciated the rain, but it was keeping everyone away from harvesting.

“It’s my own top 10 list,” I replied, patting the pile.

“Your top 10 list of what?” Alvin asked.

“It’s my top 10 list of things I think farmers should do during harvest,” I said as I passed the papers out to the guys sitting at the table.

“Like what?” Carl asked.

Here it was:

10). Survey fields ahead of harvesting for new drainage ditches and deeper gullies that developed over the growing season. This will prevent driving a combine into one of them.

9). Only drive grain wagons during the day. If they don’t have tail lights, those coming up behind them may not see the tractor’s lights.

8). Park pickups, semis, trailers and combines in areas where harvesting is complete or on irrigation roads. Parking them in tall grassy areas could cause a fire and no one wants a piece of machinery or pickup reduced to charred metal.

7). Sleep on a regular basis. Tired farmers make inattentive farmers.

6). Be aware of student drivers on their way to and from school. They aren’t used to navigating around machinery.

5). If driving on the highway, resist using the other lane as a left turn lane. Just slow and signal the turn.

4). Be aware of overhead electrical lines. Guessing at their height could cost a life.

3). Try not to drive into the sun. When the sun is coming up or sinking is a dangerous time to drive, especially since that’s the same time that student drivers and school buses are out and about.

2). Slow down. We’ve all done this before and it will get done.

1). Stop at every stop sign. Rolling through them does not constitute stopping.

“This is a pretty good list,” Alvin said. “I think I’ll keep it handy.”

The other guys nodded. “This is all good,” Carl said, “but you need another list.”

I looked at him and then at the list. “Did I miss something?” I asked.

He nodded.

“What are you going to do?” he asked.

“What do you mean, what am I going to do?” I asked.

“You know, what are those who aren’t farming going to do to help keep everyone safe during harvest?” he asked.

Ah. That was an easy one.

I’m going to watch out for farmers.



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