Agriculture Risk Management & Safety News

November 7, 2016 | by

Harvest Safety Tips for EmployeesHarvesting Wheat

The fall harvest season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for employees in the agriculture industry; the use of complex machinery in hazardous environments can lead to a number of potential risks. Additionally, employees can be exposed to various engulfment hazards when crops are stored following a harvest.

In order to have a safe and productive harvest, you should encourage your employees to do the following:

  • Read the owner and operator manuals for all equipment before harvesting.
  • Check all equipment to ensure that it has been properly maintained and that all guards are in place to protect employees.
  • Inspect the fields that will be harvested early and check for hazards such as stumps, rocks, ditches and debris. If any hazards cannot be cleared, ensure that there is adequate signage in place to warn employees of the hazards.
  • Never operate machinery while sick or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Maintain extra caution when entering grain storage areas to avoid suffocation and engulfment hazards. This includes checking oxygen levels in the storage space, powering down all moving equipment in the area and never “walking down” a pile of grain.


Dairy Surplus Leads to Milk Dump

U.S. dairy producers were forced to dump an estimated 46 million gallons of milk during the first eight months of 2016, the largest waste of milk in 16 years. Since prices reached record highs during 2014, overproduction has led to crashing milk prices.

Although milk producers have attempted to find new uses for the excess milk, such as giving more to schools and using it in animal feed, many have found it too expensive to deliver raw milk and have resorted to dumping it instead.


USDA Purchases Surplus Cheese

As a result of the current dairy surplus in the United States, the USDA has purchased 11 million pounds of surplus cheese from private producers for approximately $20 million. The agency will distribute the cheese to food banks and other assistance programs across the country.

The USDA stated that the purchase was made to reassure dairy producers, who have seen revenues drop 35 percent over the last two years. The current dairy surplus and loss of revenue for producers is largely due to the strong U.S. dollar, which makes domestic products less appealing to the international market.

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