As the Fall harvest begins in Iowa, safety should remain a priority. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Bill Northey, today reminded both farmers and motorists to be cautious on rural roads as farm vehicles move around the country side.
Northey was quoted in the Des Moines Register, “Harvest is a great time on the farm, but it is also very busy and can be stressful,” he said. “It is important everyone working on the farm and Iowans traveling through the rural parts of our state stay alert and take the necessary time to make sure we have another successful and safe harvest season.”
The Iowa Department of Transportation has additional information on farm vehicle safety for traveling on public roads and highways, including the following minimum requirements for lights and slow-moving vehicle emblems:
- Steady white headlamp: All animal-drawn vehicles and self-propelled implements of husbandry must be equipped with at least one lighted lamp or lantern exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of 500 feet in front of the vehicle.
- Steady red tail lamp: All self-propelled implements of husbandry must be equipped with a lamp or lantern exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet behind the vehicle.
- Animal-drawn vehicles must be equipped with a flashing amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet behind the vehicle.
- A farm tractor, farm tractor with towed equipment or self-propelled implement of husbandry operated on a primary or secondary road at a speed of 35 mph or less must be equipped with and display an amber flashing light visible from the rear. If the amber flashing light is obstructed by the towed equipment, the towed equipment shall also be equipped with and display an amber flashing light.
- Lighted white, red or amber lamps or lanterns are required at all times from sunset to sunrise, and at other times when conditions such as fog, snow, sleet or rain provide insufficient lighting to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead.
- SMV emblem: When operated on a highway at a speed of 35 mph or less, every farm tractor, tractor with towed equipment, self-propelled implement of husbandry, horse-drawn vehicle or any other vehicle principally designed for use off the highway shall be equipped with a SMV emblem visible from the rear of the slow-moving vehicle.
Another major concern during harvest time is grain bin safety. This is a particularly important issue for new and young farmers to pay attention to. The National Corn Growers Association and the National Feed & Grain Foundation produced the video below on grain bin safety. It is a very informative and emotional video.