According to statistics from the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network, 100 children die and 23,000 more are injured in farming related accidents each year. The rate of injury and death is even higher for adults, with the National Safety Council reporting that there were 29.9 deaths for every 100,000 farmers in 2008 along with more than 90,000 debilitating injuries that same year. To prevent farm accidents from occurring, it’s important that farmers know how to properly operate and use their farm equipment.
Use a tractor for multiple purposes. Pull farm equipment behind the tractor to prepare soil as well as plant and spray crops. Attach a trailer to the back of the tractor to move heavy objects such as cow panels or fencing from one location to another. Use the tractor to check on animals in pastures with rough terrain since traditional vehicles aren’t always able to do this.
Prepare a field with a disk. Hook the disk up to the back of a tractor and take it to the field to prepare the soil. The disk digs into the dirt to turn it over while also uprooting plants, grass and stubble from previous crops.
Plant your crops. Use a drill or planter attached to the back of a tractor to plant crops in rows in your fields. Attach packers to the back of the drill to repack the dirt on top of the seeds you plant. This prevents them from blowing away in the wind before they develop roots to hold them in place.
Use irrigation if necessary. Determine whether or not you want to use irrigation equipment to water your crops. If so, purchase and set up the large piece of equipment in your field. Connect it to a ground well, river or other water source. Some farmers choose not to use irrigation equipment and instead wait for rain since an irrigation system can be costly and increases the environmental footprint of the farmer.
Spray your crops. Drive a sprayer through the fields after the crops have started to grow to spray for herbicides, fungicides and pesticides that are a potential threat to crop growth. If growing wheat, walk through the fields and manually pull out any rye growing. Make sure to get the root of the rye, or it will grow back.
Cut crops with a combine. Drive the combine up and down the fields in the same direction as the rows to cut the crops that are growing there. Use the right type of header based on the type of crop your cutting. For example, combines use a grain header to cut wheat while a corn head is used for corn.
Haul with semi trucks. Obtain a semi truck and cattle trailer to move cattle, pigs and other farm animals from one pasture to another if there’s a long distance between them. Load the animals on the trailer to haul them to be sold or butchered when the time is right. Purchase a grain trailer to load and haul cut wheat, milo, corn, soybeans and other crops to elevators, mills and feed yards.