Producers share tips to ensure a safe and successful harvest season
By Diego Flammini
As harvest season drags on, many farmers hope they can finish their work before Mother Nature suspends operations.
With that situation at top of mind, Farms.com reached out to producers to ask them what’s needed to classify the 2019 harvest as successful.
A good harvest season is one that starts and ends safely, said Don McGugan, a cash crop producer from Lambton County, Ont.
“Safety is the most important thing around harvest,” he told Farms.com. “I’ve noticed in the last 10 or 15 years that there’s been a bigger emphasis on farm safety, I hear plenty of radio ads warning people that they could encounter large farm equipment on the roads and that they need to be patient. That way, everyone gets to go home at the end of the day.”
In terms of the farm equipment itself, manufacturers have done a good job of including safety features, McGugan said.
“In my combine, if I’ve got the auger running and I get off the seat to see how its running, the equipment will stop,” he said. “I know some of us can get annoyed when we’re trying to finish harvest, but these kinds of features are necessary.”
Smooth grain-handling logistics can help reduce stress during harvest.
“From the combine to grain trucks and the elevator, everything needs to come together,” Doug Duffin, a cash crop grower from Middlesex County, Ont. told Farms.com. “When everything falls into place, it can make for an easier harvest.”
Farmers should also be mindful of their physical and mental health.
Something as easy as taking a 10-minute break can do wonders during a long day, McGugan said.
“You must have a good mindset going into harvest,” he said. “It can definitely be a stressful time, so farmers need to do a good job of taking care of themselves. Something as simple as just listening to the radio for a few minutes or having someone meet you in the field with a fresh cup of coffee can refresh you.”
“Taking care of yourself is very important,” he said. “Harvest isn’t going to be over in a day, so you’ve got to pace yourself so you can carry yourself through until the end of harvest.”