I’s been a difficult couple of years for farmers across the Tri-States because of the economic uncertainty that’s come along with the pandemic.
During national farm safety and health week this week, local officials are speaking out about the struggles of the profession.
When people think of life on the farm, they probably think of the hard work and long hours. But they might not think of the stress that can come with the job that weighs heavily on farmers.
That’s why the Adams County Farm Bureau wants farmers to keep mental health on the top of their minds.
“I think when we get into harvest there’s a lot of stress. Weather plays a big part of it. You really want to get that crop out of the field as soon as you can and it’s very stressful and I think there’s a mental component of that as well, so we want to make sure the farmer is out there and it aware of that,” said Shawn Valter, Adams County Farm Bureau manager.
The Adams County Farm Bureau said this week is also meant to spread awareness to safety on the roads.
There is more farm equipment heading into the fields now due to the start of harvest and drivers need to pay attention.
Crashes are often caused when drivers aren’t paying attention to farm vehicles on the roads or when drivers get impatient and try to pass farmers.
Officials said there are signs drivers should watch for to know when to slow down, like the slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
“It’s displayed on the back of any vehicle going like 25 mph or less. So when you approach a vehicle and you see this orange triangle, you need to automatically think, well I better reduce my speed and slow down and be cautious because you know it’s going to be going slow,” Valter said.
Officials said these vehicles should only be on the roads for short periods of time while they move between fields, so drivers should be patient and not risk their own life or the farmers life.
With fewer hours of daylight in the fall, it’s also important to watch for farm vehicles early in the morning and when the sun is setting in the evening.