Letter: Watch out for farmers during planting season

To the editor:

Dear neighbors,

Spring is here! With it comes a busy time on farms: planting season. This means we farmers will need to occasionally drive our farm vehicles on the public roads and highways.

Safety is extremely important to everyone, and it is of the highest concern to us. We, along with all farmers, want to be good neighbors with you, ensuring everyone is not only aware but prepared to get through the season without an accident.

Farm equipment size has grown considerably through the years, and we realize that on some roads we take up more space than desired. Many travelers on the roads are very helpful, pulling over, pulling into driveways or simply slowing down. For that we greatly thank you and all the considerate drivers. Here are a few safety reminders we would like to share with you.

  • Recognize the slow-moving-vehicle emblem (triangular shape with fluorescent orange surrounded by red). It means slow down because the vehicle is traveling less than 35 miles an hour. You should be able to see it at least 500 feet away.
  • When you see a slow-moving vehicle, start to apply your brakes like you would when approaching a stoplight. If you’re driving 55 miles an hour and come upon a tractor that’s moving 15 miles an hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor. Please stay back at least 50 feet when following farm equipment.
  • Don’t assume a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right, or is letting you pass. Look for the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways, or any place a farm vehicle might turn and enter.
  • Before passing, make absolutely certain there is no oncoming traffic. Equipment size can make it difficult to see ahead.

We truly do not want to slow you down nor be an obstruction. But during this busy season of planting we want to keep everyone on the roads safe. As farmers, we are proud to produce a healthy, plentiful crop as we contribute to feeding the world. So, please be patient. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping the roads safe for all of us.

Rob Richards

Indy Family Farms partner