Planting season has begun! Here's what you need to know

New technology and seed treatments are helping farmers hit the fields a little earlier this year. With more equipment on the roads, one local farmer shared how we can all make this a safe planting season.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 2:53 PM
Updated: Apr 8, 2021 11:10 AM

BRAZIL, IN. (WTHI) -- New technology and seed treatments are helping farmers hit the fields a little earlier this year. Brazil, Indiana farmer, Kevin Cox, shared with News 10 how we can all help our farmers this planting season.

"I am optimistic this year. The prices are better, the season looks good to start with here, and we've got a warm-weather forecast coming in. I'm excited! I'm ready to rock-n-roll," said Cox with a smile on his face.

Cox is the owner and operator of TST Farms in Brazil, Indiana. He said that before this year, the earliest they ever started planting was April 13th.

"The soybean yield trials have shown earlier planted beans are paying off yield-wise, so again we're going to try it. We're always willing to try different things," he explained.

One of the biggest challenges farmers face while planting and harvesting are getting their large equipment down the roads. While farmers like Cox focus on creating a successful harvesting season, they need the communities to help to stay safe.

"I tell people all the time, 'I'm the least patient person in the world!' So believe me, I understand whenever we're slowing down your progress to get home or to get to work. I get that, but safety is our utmost concern. The last thing I want to do is have to dial 9-1-1 because somebody's been in an accident," said Cox.

TST Farms' farming equipment is 16 feet wide, which creates problems when in rural areas, the roads are only about 18 feet wide. According to the Indiana Farm Bureau, nearly 50% of incidents between motorists and farm equipment involve a left-hand turn or rear-end collision.

Cox advised that if you see equipment coming down the road, it will help them if you pull off into a driveway or smaller area for the equipment to pass.

The Indiana Farm Bureau provided News 10 with additional rural road safety tips for drivers:
Patience and awareness are key when traveling during spring planting.

The farmer understands that your trip is being delayed and will pull over to let you pass at the first, safe opportunity. Following a tractor for 2 miles at 20 mph will only take 6 minutes.

If a farmer has pulled over to allow you to pass, or you feel you must pass, do so with caution. Equipment can have parts projecting outward that are difficult to spot at first glance.

Don’t assume that a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is letting you pass. They may be turning left.

If an oncoming farm vehicle approaches you on a rural road and there is not room to pass it, bring your vehicle to a stop and pull over to let it pass.

The slow-moving vehicle emblem (orange triangle sign) indicates that a vehicle is traveling less than 25 mph.

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