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Other views: Harvest time should be safe time

The harvest season is payday for the farming community. Combines, tractors and trucks descend on the fields in an effort to gather commodities as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Safety must be on the minds of farmers and the public who share the roads during this important time.

Several factors have increased the potential dangers of the harvest season. The equipment used on today's farms is larger and takes up more of the road during transportation than farm implements of years ago.

Corn yields more per acre than the wheat and other crops that were more common in years past. This means more trucks on the roads to transport the bounty of the fields to bins and elevators in the area.

This added traffic can share the roads safely if all exercise proper care.

Safety around farm equipment goes beyond avoiding accidents on the roads. Modern farm equipment includes many safety features designed to safeguard the operator. Disabling or ignoring these features can save a few minutes initially, but can result in hours of lost productivity or even years of pain and disability when things go wrong.

Many of the variables that affect a farm operation are outside the control of the operator. The weather impacts yields and commodity prices are a major factor in profitability.

But safe operations are within the control of the farm operator. Slow down on the roads and drive defensively. Keep farm equipment in good repair and clear of dust and debris to avoid fires and follow the safe operating procedures appropriate for the equipment.

Most importantly, get some rest. The fatigue that follows long days in the field can lead to mistakes that can result in injuries and even death.

Just as farmers must take precautions, so must the driving public. Use caution on roads where it's expected there will be farm equipment. Stay alert to your surroundings.

With proper care and precautions, harvest time can be known for the quality and the quantity of the crops brought in.

The Jamestown Sun's Editorial Board formed this opinion.