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Keep harvest safety in mind when on the roads this fall

What a challenging year it has been for everyone, including the farmers. We started our planting season with the Covid-19 pandemic, had drought conditions all summer and then the Derecho came to do more damage to the once green and beautiful crops. Needless to say, it is now time to harvest.

Even if you never drive on a country road, chances are that you will end up following a combine, tractor pulling a grain cart or wagon, or even a semi-truck hauling grain.

Please be patient, the farmers who are operating the equipment understand that they are causing some traffic problems but are doing their best to keep everyone safe as they go about their harvest.

Keep the following tips in mind while traveling the roadways this fall.

SLOW DOWN: Slow down as soon as you see the equipment. A car traveling at 55 mph can close a 300 ft. gap (1 football field) in 4 seconds if a tractor is going 15 mph.

WATCH OUT: Watch out for mailboxes, road signs, bridges, turn signals on the equipment, etc. as the equipment is big and may need to swing out to avoid hitting something or to make the turn.

DUST: Gravel is dusty and when big equipment drives on gravel, it creates dust. Many of our highway shoulders are gravel rather than paved areas. If equipment is causing dust on the roadway, be patient and don’t pass until you can see clearly to do so safely.

DEER: Harvest brings out the deer so watch out for them and any other animals on the roadways.

Farmers can’t always see you, but you can see them. Please slow down, be patient and be kind. We don’t need any more tragedies this year, so pay attention and drive safe.

Connie Riesselman

President, Crawford County Farm Bureau

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