Although the weather might not feel like the end of summer, farmers across the country are gearing up for one of their busiest times of year – the harvesting season.
Silage and hay-making should be more or less finished for the year and given the vagaries of the UK climate, inside storage helps protect the fodder crops for the winter feeding of livestock. Inside storage, however, does not come without its own risks with fire being the predominant concern. The inner limits on insurance, for storage and stack sizes, should be checked especially on larger farming enterprises.
Harvesting also has many inherent risks. Operating of large machinery and long hours can lead to extreme tiredness for farm workers. And there is the all too common fire risks associated with both combine harvesters, balers and grain drying equipment.
Quite often there are extra labourers on farms at this time of year and it is important that any new employees are fully trained in the operation of machinery and that the farmer or farm manager is able to document this in the event of injury during harvest.
Taking time to check the electrics on machinery that may have not been used since last season is also an important part of harvest preparation. In a season that will be difficult at best and farmers it is easy to assume that everything is in full working order. The insurance industry has experienced claims for fire damage to grain driers and other farm machinery and it would seem that most of these are caused by a combination of electrical faults and excess dust igniting. The results of the fires can be extensive. The loss of the harvested grain is often only the start. There can also be the additional expense of a contractor having to complete the harvest for the farmer, the cost of paying an outside company to dry the grain and even damage to the sheds which were to be used for storing the harvested grain and many other hidden costs beside.
So the simple message this year to our farming community, is to:
Take time to Train
Take time to Rest
Take time to Assess and
Take time to Prepare
And don’t fall into the TRAP of rushing into harvest ill-equipped
Any comments or questions? Please contact Jean Arnott on 07881 093485 or email [email protected]