6 tips for a safe planting season
Spring is here and planting season is top of mind for growers across the U.S. As the season evolves, follow these tips for an effective and safe planting season.
1. Perform equipment checks.
Ensure all equipment is clean, safe and ready to go for planting. Before using any equipment, perform a safety check and update all related technology. Safety and equipment checks should include:
- Ensure all lights and signals are working properly.
- Inspect and replace parts as needed by starting and running equipment properly.
- Check tire pressure and tread wear and tighten lug nuts.
- Make sure all equipment, including nozzles, is clean of grease, oil, debris and rodent nests.
- Check the quality and levels of fluids, including oil and fuel.
2. Check and follow labels.
There’s a reason why companies regularly repeat the phrase, “Always read and follow label instructions.” Applying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and fertilizer incorrectly or using an expired product can have harmful effects not only on your crops, but on your health. Before applying or handling a product, always check the label and follow it exactly.
3. Wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE).
Before applying or handling chemicals, be sure proper PPE is available, fits well and functions properly. Do not overlook cautionary statements. Always protect your skin, eyes and lungs with proper PPE, which may include long sleeves, gloves, masks and eye protection. Always have first aid available in case of accidents.
4. Take care of your body: Sleep & eat right.
The spring season can be a stressful and hectic time, so be sure to take care of your body. While it is important to get the crop planted in a timely fashion, not getting enough sleep or eating good food can have a long-term impact on health. Make sure to prioritize quality sleep and eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day.
5. Ask for help.
There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, great things can come from it! Whether it is holding a flashlight to help fix a part, lifting a heavy item or confirming a detail, asking for help will almost always save time in the long run.
Before planting begins, determine who is available to help at planting. Make a schedule and use it to help make sure everyone knows who and where everyone is. Have important phone numbers and contacts easily accessible.
Check in on friends and family to offer encouragement or identify resources when needed. Planting can be stressful and showing support for friends and neighbors can mean a lot.
6. Have a plan and communicate it.
Taking time to prepare for planting and reviewing your plan early and often with your team is a great way to maximize efficiency during planting. It’s also important to note details so you can refer to them throughout the season and when preparing for the next growing season.
For more information or support for the growing season, contact your cooperative agronomy partner or visit chsagronomy.com.