Harvest Time: Farm Groups Urge Motorist Patience
INDIANAPOLIS - Recent rainfall across Indiana has kept many farmers out of their field, just as they’re trying to bring in the weather-challenged crop.
Indiana Farm Bureau and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture are reminding motorists to be patient with farmers who are moving their slow-moving farm equipment on Indiana roads.
Over the next couple of months, motorists are encouraged to exercise caution and patience, as they share the road with these large vehicles. These farm vehicles often travel at speeds no higher than 25 mph.
“As you’re making your plans this fall, factor in a little extra time for your travels and slow down, especially when driving through rural parts of Indiana,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows farm vehicles were involved in 73 fatal crashes across the U.S., with seven of those incidents occurring in Indiana.
“Most years, farmers are hoping to have their crops harvested by Thanksgiving, but this has been an unprecedented year,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director.
“Depending on the weather, we could see some working in their fields mid- to late December even. It’s important to plan accordingly.”
The most recent crop harvest update from USDA shows that 48 percent of Indiana’s corn is harvested. It’s usually around 70 percent complete by now.
ISDA says when attempting to pass farm equipment, always look for oncoming traffic, and make sure the vehicle is actually pulling over and not making a left turn. Farmers will pull over for motorists when they are able to, but it may take them some time to find a safe place to do so.