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Growing in Agriculture: Harvest Time of Year





Growing in Agriculture:  Harvest Time of Year

 

By Lucas Lentsch, Secretary of Agriculture

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

 

In South Dakota, we know how rewarding it is to be involved in agriculture. For many in our great state, no time is more fulfilling than harvest season. It’s that exciting time of year when, after many months of hard work and patience, farmers and ranchers finally get to see the fruits of their labor.

 

While harvest is exciting, it also has the potential to be a dangerous time of year. We often see combines and other farm equipment traveling down our roadways as farmers move from field to field, bringing in this year’s bounty. This equipment is much larger than the vehicles many of us are used to sharing the road with and they move much slower. When you see farm equipment on the roadways, please be cautious. You might catch up with it more quickly than you think. Always take your time when moving around this equipment. Most operators will gladly give you enough space to safely pass if you give them the opportunity to move to the side of the road.  Taking those extra few minutes are worth it to ensure that everyone arrives at their destinations safely.

 

As we’ve seen in recent weeks, there is also the threat of fire during harvest. Dry, windy weather makes conditions ripe for fast-moving fires in our fields. Look after, and be helpful to, your neighbors if they find themselves in trouble. It is also essential to give fire and emergency crews the space they need to do their jobs.

 

This time of year also means harvesting of livestock. Animals are being moved closer to home. Cows and calves are being separated and animals are being sorted off to be sold. As you travel the state, you might also come upon a cattle drive. If you’re lucky enough to witness a drive, please remember that people, animals and vehicles will all be moving slowly down roadways. Please be alert and patient. Take in the sight. It’s an awesome part of our tradition and culture here in South Dakota. In no time, the path to your destination will be cleared and you can move along with your day.

As the harvest comes in, I ask everyone to be a little extra patient. When you come upon farm equipment or a cattle drive on the roadway, take a few extra minutes to slow down in our fast-paced world. Let’s work together to make it a safe harvest for everyone.

 

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An audio file of this column can also be downloaded at http://news.sd.gov/mediacontent.aspx?id=12&media=Audio.