KEYC - Preparing For A Safe Harvest

Preparing For A Safe Harvest

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BLUE EARTH COUNTY, Minn. -

The cash crops are nearly ready for harvest.

Now firmly in September, there's a close eye on the fields after August was less than desirable.

Ag Expert Kent Thiesse said, "Crop development in many areas kind of dropped behind by the end of August, so we definitely need a good September here to get the crop mature."

Reaching the final stages of growth, Mother Nature's help is also needed with warm, dry days to prepare the crops.

Thiesse said, "You need it down to about 15, 16 percent moisture to safely store so even though the corn reaches maturity, we want continued nice weather to continue that natural dry down."

Soon, vibrant fields will return to barren brown lots, but a change to the landscape isn't the only thing this harvest season brings, as large machinery head out onto rural and urban roads to complete this daunting task.

Blue Earth County Chief Deputy Mike Maurer said, "The farmers do have right to move their equipment down the roadway. They have to be cautious, but you as a motorist have to be cautious also, equipment is wider."

Chief Deputy Maurer says the number of farming accidents has gone down with safety improvements on equipment and education, but authorities still see a few every year.

Maurer said, "Farmers spend some significant hours in the field. They get tired; they get fatigued. They get in a hurry if the weather is going to change and that's when accidents usually happen."

Fall harvest time can see a higher occurrence of accidents.

Sept. 17-23 is designated as National Farm Safety Week.

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--KEYC News 12