Late summer and early fall is a busy time for farmers across the county, requiring them to often travel rural roads with farm equipment.
It’s also an important time for motorists to be on the lookout for the large, slow-moving equipment and use caution to protect themselves and farmers.
“This time of year there’s lot of (tractors) out (on the road),” said Rodney Davis of the Huntingdon County Farm Bureau and a West Township farmer. “You use tractors for every part of your farming operation, from putting the feed away, to the hauling the manure, to planting the crops.”
Although changes in the agriculture industry over the years have resulted in the use of fewer tractors, the size of equipment has increased.
“Historically, I would say there are fewer tractors on the road than in the past but the equipment is larger,” said Davis.
“The percentage that is involved in agriculture is lower than it was before, around 2% now, so the people who are farming are farming more acres. Our situation, we’re farming three farms that were once run independently.”
Sarah States, a resident of Hesston immersed in the farming world, says she’s worried about people driving recklessly around tractors.
“It scares me because I’m married to a farmer, my brothers farm, and I have friends who are farmers,” she said. “I’d like to see more awareness and see the police fining people who pass around the equipment, because they can’t see. And right now there are more on the road because there is more crop work that needs done.”
Davis agrees that drivers should be more cautious when driving in rural areas.
“It’s pretty well documented that drivers are more distracted now with people using their cellphones, coupled with that the vehicles that people drive have gotten faster and you’re lured into a sense of safety. But you have to be vigilant and be aware coming around the next hill or the next turn there could be a tractor moving slower than you are.”
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