Ankeny, Iowa — The health and safety of farmers remains top priority as the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) recognizes the week of Sept. 19-25 as National Farm Safety and Health Week.
The annual event created by the National Safety Council is led by the National Education Center for Agriculture Safety (NECAS), the agricultural extension of the National Safety Council and has been affirmed by every U.S. president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.
“This time of year, we as farmers are gearing up for our ‘super bowl’ of bringing in the harvest,” says ISA board member Pat Swanson, a soybean farmer from Ottumwa. “Our equipment is increasing in size and contains more technology, so being careful to look around before moving it is important for a safe harvest”.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Statistics, the agricultural sector remains the most dangerous in America with 573 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.1 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2019 alone.
Recommendations for Iowa soybean farmers include ensuring equipment safety guards are in good working condition and machinery is turned off when making repairs. Making sure all harvest helpers, including family and friends, are comfortable operating machinery can also prevent accidents from occurring. Additional tips for enhancing safety this harvest season include:
- Not pushing past your limits. Farming with care can help to minimize hazardous conditions and mistakes from occurring.
- Making time for annual health screenings. No asset is more important to the long-term success and viability of an operation than the farmer itself.
- Getting adequate sleep and nutrition. Keeping a balanced diet and getting quality sleep are essential parts of your daily routine by providing energy to keep you going during the busy harvest season.
With more than 525 million bushels of soybeans expected to be harvested by Iowa farmers this fall, recognizing these simple safety tips can help lower the risk of injury during the bustle of agriculture operations.
“We really appreciate everyone on the roadways being patient with us as we continue safely moving equipment to our fields safely,” adds Swanson.
This year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week will host daily themes and seminars on tractor and rural roadway safety, handling of chemicals and overall farmer health, among others. For more information on National Farm Safety and Health Week, visit www.necasag.org/.
The Iowa Soybean Association is Driven To Deliver market demand, production research, information and insights and regulatory action benefiting Iowa’s 38,000 soybean farmers and the industry. For more information, visit iasoybeans.com.
Partially funded by the soybean checkoff