Rushed harvest season poses many risks for farmers

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s a busy night for Siouxland farmers who are working to get in as much of their soybean harvest out as possible before the cold weather hits.

All of this harvest hustle means a lot more farm traffic out on the roadways.

Many Siouxland farmers were just able to get into their fields to start harvesting this week that’s about three weeks behind schedule.

Now, mother nature is forcing many to work overtime before the first possible major blast of freezing temps.

“This is the time of year that I love harvest but I hate hearing the stories that come with it,” said Joel DeJong, an ISU extension field agronomist.

Many Siouxland farmers are working to make up for lost time.

“It’s kinda hectic here. You’re looking to beat the weather and we have weather coming in here, so you are always racing against the clock. You just have to make sure you’re careful though because you can’t get ahead of yourself,” farmer Mark Vonnahme.

That race carries over from the field to county roadways now filled with grain carts and combines.

“You have to remember this equipment is big, and there are a lot more trucks that are hauling grain right now and trucks don’t stop as fast as a car,” said DeJong. “They don’t respond as quickly because there is a lot of weight behind them, and people forget that, so you got to leave a good clear distance around all this equipment to make sure everybody has a chance to stop and be safe.”

“We have some fields that are about five miles away from where we are standing here, so we travel a lot of gravel roads, we cross county roads,” Vonnahme said.

It’s why drivers should keep an eye out for farm equipment and plan ahead, giving yourself more time to get to your destination.

“I appreciate most people are very good. They are courteous. They give you the right of way. They see you coming they give you plenty of space and that is so important with this type of equipment more because [in] a blink of an eye, you can get yourself in trouble out there,” said Vonnahme

Remember, farm equipment is big and won’t necessarily fit in the lane, so be cautious if you’re passing and make sure you keep a safe distance.

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