Motorist advised to use caution
by Haley Ferretti
Sep 04, 2013 | 856 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It's harvest time in the Delta again. That means people are looking forward to cooler weather and pumpkin-flavored drinks, but it also means that farm equipment is roaming the local streets and highways.

Harvest season always adds stress for both drivers and farmers, which is why it is a good idea to be extra cautious on the roads this time of year.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Tony Dunn described the stress that drivers face while on the road with farm machinery.

"I think the main reason for the stress is the trucks. They get the harvest from the fields, and they are travelling on the same roads as everyone else. It makes it even more stressful when harvest trucks are not properly covered and debris begins hitting the windows."

People also tend to drive at faster speeds on long, winding country roads, which is an issue if near farm machinery.

"Some of these drivers exceed the speed limit because they're in a time crunch," said Dunn. "They start driving reckless and they cause issues. They aren't the only ones out on the road. People have to realize that these (farmers) are making a living and doing their job.

Justin Ferguson, the northwest regional manager for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, believes it will be a good year for corn, rice and soybeans but encourages all drivers to be extra careful during the season.

"Most farmers are anticipating a good yield, not a record breaker, but everyone seems to be pretty positive so far just from looking at the crops at this point," said Ferguson. "We'll have to keep our eye out for rain, which could change things. Rain is always factor, which is very dangerous for rice crop. But overall it looks like a positive crop."

"At harvest you'll see combines on the roads, which are slow-moving at 25 miles per hour and have the orange triangle to indicate that," said Ferguson. "Motorists need to keep in mind that if you're going 60 miles per hour and approaching a machine that's going 20, it can be very dangerous.

"As for the farmers," said Ferguson, "this is their make it or break it time to make their living so we want to encourage everybody to be as safe as possible."