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Farmers Union President Urges Caution for Spring Work
JAMESTOWN - (Anne Denholm, ND Farmers Union) - The old adage says that patience is a virtue, but adhering to that mantra will be tough to do for North Dakota farmers and ranchers this spring. The late snow melt has delayed planting and impacted the calving season, which means there is more pressure to complete necessary farming duties as soon as the weather permits.

North Dakota Farmers Union President Woody Barth commented, “Farmers are itching to get everything done in a hurry. The shops are full of seed, tractors are fueled up, and everyone is ready to start planting. But when people are in a rush, that’s when accidents can happen. NDFU wants to remind everyone involved in agriculture to use caution. As your partners, cooperatives and ag suppliers want you to have a prosperous, but safe spring planting season.”

According to a 2010 data report, most farm accidents occur in spring doing typical work from repairing a tractor to being hit by limbs while cutting brush. Tractor-related accidents continue to be the leading cause of farm fatalities. In 2010, tractor overturns accounted for more than 20% of farm deaths. Tractor overturns remain as the number one cause of farm deaths nationally. As equipment gets larger and taller when folded, hitting power lines remains an imminent threat and one that farmers need to be aware of when they're moving from field to field.

To be safe, experts recommend that all farm equipment is in good working order and that farmers have all the tools needed in the field. A cell phone or smartphone should be accessible in case of a delay, breakdown or accident.

Barth concluded, “It is important for farmers and ranchers to slow down, despite the push to get everything done this spring. We want everyone to be safe.”