What a great event that the Farmer Appreciation Dinner turned out to be this past Tuesday evening at Hamler. A huge thanks to Dan Brubaker and crew for organizing the program and rounding up sponsors. Just another example of how the agricultural community can come together to support it’s members during times of adversity. As mentioned during the program it was also great to see future leaders from all three county FFA chapters participating in serving the meal. Henry County Agriculture looks to be in good hands for years to come.
The recent heat after another soggy weekend was sure welcome with regards to advancing crop development. As the upcoming harvest approaches, I always find it fit to share some combine safety tips. All too often we hear about or see where a combine has caught fire during harvest and burned. There are some things we can do to help prevent and put out combine fires, but first and foremost farmers need to consider their safety as the number one priority. A combine can be replaced much easier than the operator. Some tips to combat combine fires from Dee Jepsen, Ag Safety program leader at Ohio State:
Keep dried plant material from accumulating on the equipment. Frequently blow dry chaff, leaves and other crop materials that have accumulated on the equipment with a portable leaf blower or air compressor. Be sure to inspect the engine compartment and other areas where chaff accumulates around bearings, belts and other moving parts.
Refuel a cool engine whenever possible. Never refuel a combine with the engine running. It is recommended to turn off the engine and wait 15 minutes; this helps to reduce the risk of a spill volatilizing and igniting.
Prevent static electricity while operating in a dry field. Use a ground chain attached to the combine frame to prevent static charges from igniting dry chaff and harvest residue, letting the chain drag on the ground while in the field.
Have 2 fully charged fire extinguishers on the combine. ABC fire extinguishers are recommended on farm machinery. In a combine, keep a 10-pound unit in the cab and a 20-pound unit mounted at ground level.
Have 1 fully charged fire extinguisher in the tractor, grain cart, and pickup truck. ABC fire extinguishers are recommended on farm machinery. These extinguishers are good for fires at incipient phases – meaning at the first sign of smoke or a small flame.
Finally, autumn is a great time to have your soil tested. Shade trees can be fertilized in late fall while lawns can be fertilized later this fall after we get some rain. Soil testing will reveal the pH and nutrient levels of the soil. It is possible that a pH imbalance is a reason why trees or lawns do not respond to a fertilizer application.
Too often, we forget to lime our soil, then want to lime and fertilize at the same time. This can be a problem. First, we need to lime well in advance of fertilizing so the lime can react with the soil and neutralize it. When we lime and fertilize at the same time, they can react with each other and not have the desired effects. When we lime and wait to fertilize, the acidity will be reduced, making the fertilizer more available to your plants, and yes, we have soil test kits available for $10.00 at the office and I will be happy to help you analyze the results and make recommendations. I’ll end this week with a quote from Thomas Edison: “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” Have a great week.
National 4-H Week: October 6-12