Time for Increased Focus on Rural Roads


Harvest operations have begun in parts of Indiana and that means equipment can be seen working corn and soybean fields to bring in the 2023 crop. Just as importantly, harvest season means more equipment is on Hoosier roads, so it is a time to be extra cautious and patient.

“We love to be in a field,” says director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Boone County farmer Don Lamb. “Farming is great when you’re out in a field doing the work. When you have to get back out on the road and move from field to field, that’s when the blood pressure goes up a little bit.”

The blood pressure rises because farmers know there is no room for error when sharing roads with motorists, and the goal is to make it a safe harvest for everyone. But Lamb feels the risks have risen in recent years.

“More and more as traffic increases and speeds increase and things like that, when we get out on the roads it really is a little bit of a scary situation for farmers. We’re constantly looking in rear view mirrors. We’re constantly wondering if somebody’s on their phone, if they see us. Even with all the flashing lights it’s so easy today to be distracted, so it really has seemed like the risk has come up in the last few years being on the road.”

Hoosier Ag Today has produced a new YouTube video with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and other state agencies to highlight the need for extra awareness and caution on rural roadways during harvest.

In the video, Lamb takes you inside the cab of the combine so you get a feel for the road from the farmer perspective. He also has a message for farmers facing a bit too much pressure this season.

“And to all of our farming families, we know harvest can be full of long days and nights. Remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. If your load ever gets too heavy to carry, reach out for support from your family, your friends, your neighbors, or even to us here at the ISDA.”

See the video on social media and the HAT YouTube channel, and let’s all keep an alert eye out for each other on the roads this harvest season.