AMES — The harvest will soon ramp up to full speed and that can lead to some hectic days on the farm.
Iowa State University , professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering Charles Schwab says this year is an example of how tough the harvest season can be on the health of farmers. The late planting could lead to a later harvest and a rush to get all the crops in. “You window of harvesting is shrinking and you’re waiting for the right conditions and your stress level is increasing — those all impact the body — impact the decisions you make,”Schwab says.
Schwab says one thing farmers need to do is take time to meet their nutritional and other needs during the harvest. “When you work long hours, if you are not taking breaks to replenish your body and refresh your mind, then some of the decisions may be poor. Poor in that they put your health at risk,” Schwab says.
He says not taking care of yourself could end up causing more trouble in the long run. “It’s not that you can’t work long hours — but take breaks, have people check on you — and be aware that the longer you are working at a particular activity you need to take breaks to refresh your body and give it a chance not to get locked into that…stupor of not seeing the dangers that are approaching you,” according to Schwab.
Schwab says just remember you can get a lot done while still taking precautions. “We’re dealing with a lot of pieces of equipment that come out during the harvest — and we just need to recognize that this is also the time to be safe,” Schwab says.
The crop report out last Monday showed a minimal amount of crops had been harvested.