Farmers warning of safety hazards as harvest season begins

Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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CENTERVILLE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It’s that time of the year when farmers are out in the fields and on the roadways.

Tim Ostrem farms near Centerville. He says this year’s conditions have been less than ideal, especially the lack of moisture.

“The total for the year is about eleven and a half inches for us and normal precipitation for us would be about twenty-seven inches a year, so we’re less than half,” said Tim Ostrem, Centerville farmer.

He says this has caused an early harvest for many farmers.

“We’re having an accelerated harvest this year because everything dried up sooner than normal and so we’re harvesting and a lot of times I would be just starting on October 1st and we’re over half done,” said Ostrem.

With running farm equipment, Ostrem says safety must remain a top priority.

Among the chief concerns, power lines.

“The powerline issue would be with your grain augers, if you are moving augers around, they’re up in the air and if they are not put down as low as they can go, they can possibly touch tone,” said Ostrem.

Chris Studer with East River Electric says this is something his company brings awareness to as harvesting season approaches.

“Every year it’s inevitable that somebody is going to hit a power pole but we know that accidents happen and so we want farmers and ranchers to be aware of what they should do if they do hit a power line,” said Chris Studer, East River Electric PR.

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation.

“Definitely see where the powerline Is at, if it’s touching the tractor don’t get out of the tractor, you have to call for help,” said Studer.

As for motorists, be patient with farmers on rural streets and highways.

“I think that the public has to be aware of just how fast we are going, we’re not going as fast as they are, and our equipment is fairly large,” said Ostrem.