Iowa Is Drying, Tips To Avoid Fires On The Farm
During this growing season, northeast Iowa was fortunate to be a wet region in Iowa. However, after last week’s Drought Monitor map was released, it showed that about 84 percent of Iowa is experiencing some degree of drought.
And we have been seeing the effects of it. There have been two combine fires in northeast Iowa and eastern Iowa saw a hay fire spread rapidly just in the last week.
But Iowa isn’t the only state battling worsening drought conditions.
According to AgDaily, more than 340 million acres of crops are experiencing extreme drought across the United States. In Iowa, we are seeing extreme drought hit the northwest region of the state.
As northeast Iowa starts to dry and enter drought conditions, it's important to keep in mind safety measures. The AgDaily article lists safety measures for farmers navigating harvest during extreme drought but these tips are helpful for all farmers during the dry harvest season.
Ensure fire extinguishers and water caddies are readily available.
Since there are areas around Iowa experiencing drought, that means the dry vegetation around fields is at risk of fire. It's important to have water and fire extinguishers available in case there are any burning embers or small fires.
Scout lodging crops
Crops that have been hit with drought will often have stability issues that lead to them bending over. It's important to scout your fields for this and proceed carefully.
Keep equipment clean
Dirty equipment can be dangerous equipment. The dry crop residue can lead to visibility and mechanical issues. While tedious, stopping a few times a day to clean windows, reflectors, lights, and engine components can ensure efficiency.
Turn off equipment on breaks
This one will help avoid any complications as well as save on fuel costs. If you need to inspect a field, or even just take a break, turn your equipment off.
Monitor crop quality
Throughout the harvest process, it's always good to monitor crop quality for “physiological maturity, show indications of poor quality, and damage by insects or disease”.