|Bring in the bounty|
It’s crunch time for area farmers.
Months worth of hard work, a few sleepless nights and praying for the skies to rain but not hail all culminate in a harvest season now just getting started.
The crops look good, no make that great, in most area fields. Hamilton County stands poised to reap the bounty of fine soil and precious water-bearing aquifer yet again, reminding us that our little corner of the continent does indeed help feed the world.
Corn prices could be better, of course, especially compared to last year. At this point, however, the focus is on getting the crop out of the field as quickly and safely as possible.
Harvest safety is a concern this time of year not just for the men and women driving large farm trucks and combines. It must be a priority for anyone on the roads between now and mid-November.
Remember to be watchful on county roads during harvest. A car going 50 mph coming up behind a farm implement moving at 15 mph closes at a rate of over 50 feet per second.
Don’t pull out in front of farm vehicles. Heavily loaded trucks and grain trailers can’t stop as quickly as a passenger car.
Watch out! Trucks and farm equipment may be entering the roadway from field lanes in places where you wouldn’t normally expect them.
Give them room. Eight-row headers are nearly 25 feet wide and 12-row headers are nearly 35 feet wide. These take up nearly all of a roadway. When overtaking a combine, give the farmer time to see you and to find a safe place where he/she can pull over and make room for you to pass. Never attempt to pass a wide farm machine until the driver is aware of your presence.
Never try to pass a combine or other implement on the shoulder of the road. If you hit a washout or hidden culvert, you could roll the vehicle.
Harvest activity can disturb deer, causing them to be on the move during times of the day they are usually lying down. Be especially alert for deer during harvest.
There is a special feeling in the air during harvest, especially for the folks who are bringing in the bounty. We look forward to celebrating another profitable, rewarding harvest at the end of the year, but urge all area farmers and residents to proceed with caution between now and then.