WARRICK COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) Farmers are back in their fields. As the harvest season gets underway, farmers are talking about the hazards they face. This is ‘National Farm Health and Safety Week’ and the theme is ‘No one can take your place.’ With that in mind, farmers are encouraging drivers to be patient when sharing the road with large farm equipment.
“We have only a short amount of time to get the crop in and we try to do that as safely and as efficient as possible,” says Kyle Rexing, a farmer in northern Vanderburgh County.
From sunrise to sunset and sometimes into the night, 94 thousand farmers across the Hoosier state are harvesting crops.
“People are good in the area, in northern Vanderburgh County. We are very fortunate. Most of the people go out of their way to make sure we can safely and effectively navigate up and down the roads this time of year,” Rexing says.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, agriculture is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In 2020, there were three vehicle crashes involving farm equipment, two of which resulted in fatalities.
“If we cannot see you in our mirrors and you cannot really see us, we have a hard time seeing you. Just just slow down,” says Mark Durchholz, who works on his family’s farm in Warrick County.
Farmers say slowing down and giving them room is one of the best things drivers can do. Durchholz says he almost got to an accident because a driver was in a hurry.
“I had my turn signals on to cross traffic and waited until it was clear and went to turn. I had someone trying to pass me from behind,” Durchholz says.
When going field to field, farmers say they try to use side roads as much as possible to cut down on traffic issues on the road.
“If you can bear with us and stay safe and keep an eye out for us, it will be over very soon,” says Durchholz.
Harvest season lasts through the end of November, depending on weather conditions.
More from Ann Powell
Eyewitness News. Everywhere you are.