Spring Safety Reminders From UFC


Spring is finally here, and things are ramping up on the farm. But as we rush to get crops in the ground, it’s easy to cut corners and take shortcuts with safety. Let’s take a moment to review some basic farm safety guidelines to keep our families, employees, and ourselves protected this busy season.


Always keep track of the whereabouts of small children when they are outdoors, and set explicit guidelines for older children assisting with chores.


Perform pre-operation inspections by walking around tractors, combines, planters, and other machinery. All guards must be in good working order. Make sure ROPS (rollover protective structures) are installed on tractors. Skipping these steps could cost a life.


We’ll be sharing rural roads with other drivers who may not “think farm.” Make sure implements and slow-moving vehicles have proper lights and SMV emblems. Be extra cautious at rural intersections without stop signs or yield signs, and ones where trees or bushes block part of the view. When mapping routes, choose ones that have the most right turns. They are safer to make than left turns.


Spring brings changes in livestock behavior. Bulls can become aggressive, and mother cows are protective of their newborn calves. Use good judgment, keep your eyes on them when you’re around them, and avoid putting yourself at risk. Keep a good distance in between yourselves when you can.


Anhydrous ammonia is an efficient and affordable crop nutrient, but requires caution and proper PPE, including gloves and respirators. Don’t take shortcuts. Use only well-maintained hoses and applicators. If you need to transport anhydrous, make sure to drive under 25 mph.


Take care of your own health and wellness during this hectic season. I know that’s easier said than done. Eat regular, balanced meals. Get enough rest. See your doctor if you feel off. And make time for breaks – walk away and clear your mind periodically. An injury or illness could disrupt spring plans.

Wishing you a safe and productive planting season!

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