Drivers are being advised to watch out for farm equipment when driving on country roads

Posted By: Jason Taylor

LINCOLN, Neb. The fall harvest has begun here in southeast Nebraska and Ag experts have some safety tips on driving through rural areas.

The weather pattern over the past week has been great for farmers to get out into the field. Ag Educator Paul Hay with the Gage County Extension Office says numerous farmers have started their harvest. However, we still need more dry weather before it gets in to full swing.

"Sunny days, maybe a little wind. That helps out. So the moisture’s are coming down to a level we can harvest now and in the weeks ahead we’re going to be in full gear… So currently soybeans a little more than corn but we’re harvesting some of both." Said Paul Hay, Ag Educator with Gage County Extension Office

Hay says there are many things to be aware of when you’re on the road. Tractors are oversized and slow and there are many blind spots at intersections on county roads.

"Watch out for dust also. You see dust, you’re coming up the intersection and you see dust somewhere, you’d better be slowing down because somewhere there’s equipment working… And all this harvest activity tends to move the deer a little bit." Hay said

During dusk also be aware of the bright lights on the combines. He adds that the machinery is much larger and heavier than what it use to be.

"You know in the old days when a car hit a tractor usually the tractor driver was the one who was hurt worse or died. Today that’s the reverse." Hay said

Most common vehicles are semi–trucks, wagons that hall grain and combines. Hay says farmers are not out in the morning because of the moisture but are usually out by midday.

"11 o’clock in the morning but then they’re going to be working towards evening, 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock. You know those dusk hours are really the big time you ought to be paying attention." Hay said

Hay says the harvest will continue through the first of November. He adds that the corn yield is looking to be slightly below average… While soybeans look to be slightly better than normal.