This is Iowa - and it's harvest season

Monday, September 30, 2013

You know it by its beauty, the rows of golden corn stalks against the bright

blue sky which the next day are rows of golden stubble against the deep,

dark earth or the fullness of the bright yellow-green in the soybean fields.

It is, indeed, a pretty time of year. It's also a dangerous time of year.

Each fall, Iowa farmers experience several accidents between tractors and wagons and motor vehicles. The car or the mini-van is always going to lose those battles.

It happens every year; it's nothing new.

Still, it really doesn't need to happen if we all become just a little more

aware and drive just a little more safely.

Once harvest starts, farm equipment is on the road. The tractors, trailers,

wagons and farm trucks are on the highways, on the blacktops, on the gravel roads, and even on the city streets. They need to be.

It's just that those of us not in tractors and trailers and the heavy farm trucks full of corn and beans have to remember that they're there and that they move slowly.

Most farm vehicles we've seen have had the Slow Moving Vehicle SMV sign and the appropriate lights; but they're still there -- anytime in the day or night -- and they're still moving slowly. Drivers need to remember that and react accordingly.

Oh, by way of a gentle harvest reminder, they make wide turns, too.

The truth is, not very many people go 55 on the blacktops; and even at 55, a car comes up on slow-moving farm equipment pretty fast.

Let's be careful out there.There are lives in the balance.