It sure seems as if spring is finally here in full force. The length of daylight has increased, the temperatures are steadily warmer and the sunshine seems to be out more frequently.
With these signs of spring, this also means that there is more traffic out and about. This can include vehicle traffic, pedestrian, bicycle, and last, but not least, farmers and their equipment. For farmers, planting season is here, and this requires them to travel the roads to move equipment and to get to their fields.
Those farmers who plant crops tend to have the busiest seasons in the spring (planting) and fall (harvesting). Between these main two seasons, hay needs to be mowed and baled, and winter cover crops need to be taken off.
As farmers begin their spring planting, they need to be on public roads more often to access fields and move equipment. Farmers also may have help following them with additional implements, seed or fertilizer. With that, traffic may become backed up, roadways may narrow, or traffic may even have to come to a complete stop for a few minutes.
Farmers tend to be aware that those traveling the roads might not be expecting these oversized tractors and loads, or slow traffic patterns compared to normal times. Therefore, farmers exercise extreme caution when out on public roads moving their equipment, but it is also the job of others on the road to use extreme caution and make wise choices, as well.
No matter what season of the year it may be, farmers tend to put in long hours with early mornings and late nights. Spring planting is no different, and actually tends to have even longer days due to the fact that regular day-to-day chores have to be done and fieldwork is added into the equation.
Farmers ultimately put in these long days to provide crops to make feed for their animals and to sell for others to purchase for their farms and animals as well. With even more importance, these crops may be used for human food production.
All in all, even if the farmer produces no crops on their land that will go for human consumption directly, more than likely they are producing crops for animals to consume and thrive on. That results in animals making end products like milk, meat or eggs, which are then consumed by the public.
It seems nowadays, everyone leads a fast-paced life. We all are rushing to get to the next practice, meeting or appointment. We tend to have a bunch of different things on our mind, and often may not be focused on the task at hand.
Say we are driving down the road and come to a slow-moving vehicle. This might be frustrating. It might make one tense that they are going to be late for wherever it is that they may be heading to.
Yes, it may slow one down, but ultimately just try to remember that these farmers are out there working hard, spending time away from their families to be able to make a wholesome product that, in result, ends up on your dinner table in some form.
These farmers have families, too. They are friends, parents, spouses and human beings just like you. They sacrifice vacations, weekends off and work in acres, not hours, to be able to feed the world. The last thing that any farmer would want is to cause an accident by no fault of their own due to someone’s impatience.
So please, next time you are traveling and come across a tractor or farm machine, slow down.
This is a great time to enjoy the view of the country and to be thankful for all that farmers do for us. Just as you are trying to navigate about your day, so are they.
Although the daily schedule may be different, in the end we all just want to be safe and be able to make it.
Submitted by Julie Holler, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau board of trustees.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.