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Farm Advisory

Harvesting Time -- Be Careful Out There!

Now is the most dangerous time of year in Iowa's most dangerous occupation: It's harvest-time for Iowa farmers.

Figures prove it's a perilous time. Last year, almost half of the year's farm fatalities occurred in the last four months (27 of 66), according to the State Health Department, and there were 729 injuries reported during the harvest period.

Farmers don't need numbers to tell them the two main causes of death and injury: fatigue and haste. There's plenty of pressure at harvest time.

So, please: Check your machinery, and get your mind right. Keep a very close eye on young people if they help with your harvest. Take your time, and try to get your rest. Be careful out there.

Don't short-cut safety. Here are safety tips to remember at all times:

  • Be wary of overhead power lines if you are operating tall equipment such as combines or pulling machinery such as augers or elevators.
  • Never enter a grain bin to clear out a clogged auger unless the power is off or someone is nearby to turn it off. The auger can draw you down and cause suffocation.
  • Don't try to clear heads or other plugged machinery while it is engaged. Every fall, farmers in a hurry to complete their work forget this most basic safety rule and lose their life or limbs.
  • Be careful with PTO's! They can grab loose clothing and pull a person to injury.
    Keep children supervised and safe!

If you would like a 26-minute farm safety video for use by the whole family, please call the Attorney General's Farm Division at 515-281-5351.

Please bring in every last bushel of this harvest -- SAFELY!