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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 16, 2009

In just a few weeks, if not days, farmers will be harvesting their soybean and corn crops.

Tractors and combines and wagons will fill the roads, both secondary and primary. And although farmers try to get from one point to another as quickly as possible, delays can and do happen during harvest season. That makes this a particularly good time for both farmers and the general public to be careful on the roadways and on the farm.

We should all allow a little extra time to get to work. Why? Well, it should only be common sense to expect a tractor or pickup pulling a wagonload of corn just over the next hill. It might going 40 miles an hour, or 30 or even 20. Whatever the speed, farmers have just as much of a right to use the road as anyone. So give a little extra time when traveling both before and after work or school.

If you’re a farmer, you’ll be working extra long days, often from dark to dark. So if you’re traveling in the dark, you have lights on all the vehicles you’ll be driving or pulling, right? If not, then pull that wagon during the daylight. You and the people will be all that much safer for it.

We’ve heard it time and time again but it doesn’t hurt to keep saying it time and time again. Be careful around farm machinery. It’s when you get careless or forget where you are in relation to a piece of machinery that you get into trouble. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing or chunky jewelry around moving machine parts. And make sure kids and animals are a safe distance away from machinery when you’re working. Taking a few extra seconds to practice safety can save a lifetime of regret.

And as you approach towns with commercial grain elevators, expect there to be lines of grain wagons waiting to unload. Sometimes they can be backed up for blocks. So have a little patience. Plan your trips. If you’re driving a car, think of an alternative route and assume there will be congestion around the grain elevator.

Using a little common sense -and common courtesy – can save a lot of heartache during harvest season.

So here’s to a good – and safe – harvest season.