Grains of Knowledge

Safeguarding the Health of Your Family’s Farm

Many of the farm tractors manufactured today are equipped with seatbelts and a completely enclosed cab, providing critical protection from the leading cause of death on farms, tractor rollovers. As a result, Rollover Protective on Structures, or ROPS, has been a standard safety feature of virtually all farm tractors for many years.

On the Farm: Protect Your Pigs from PEDV

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a disease that impacts pork populations, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration. Newborn piglets exposed to the disease usually die within a few days, while older pigs face sickness and weight loss.

Safety First – Farm Show Spotlights Truck Safety

On Monday, February 17th, Westfield representatives presented at the annual Farm Truck Awareness Safety Day. The well-attended event took place at Buckeye Harvesting LLC, in Sabina, Ohio and included several local Ohio sponsors including the Ohio State University Extension.

Westfield’s Guide to Grain Bins: 3 Safety Lessons Learned

Last year, no less than 19 grain entrapments occurred in the United States, according to research compiled by Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program, which documents confined space incidents in agriculture. While down from 2011, and significantly down from 2010’s all-time high of 57, the occurrence of these incidents still leaves room for education on safety and techniques for prevention. Early last month, a number of Westfield Insurance Risk Control Unit and Commercial Agribusiness/Farm Division employees gathered at the University of Akron campus in Medina County, Ohio to bring greater awareness to the common hazards associated with grain bin […]

Wildfire Season: How to Prepare Your Farm for Wildfires

Flames in the Western U.S. indicate the arrival of a dreaded, annual weather condition—wildfire season. On June 2, 2013, a Southern California wildfire ripped across 30,000 acres, tragically demolishing six homes in its path, reported Yahoo News. Unfortunately, New Mexico has also seen two wildfires this month. And what’s more, weather experts are predicting a rough season ahead. According to a recent article in The Guardian, “America’s wildfire season lasts two months longer than it did 40 years ago.” In preparation – and in the early months – of wildfire season, it’s critical that homeowners and farmers be educated and prepared. While natural disasters are somewhat out of […]

Winter Safety on the Farm, Part II

In part I of Winter Safety on the Farm, we discussed steps to take to protect you and your equipment. This time, we will provide you with tips to protect your animals during the winter months. To make sure animals are protected, provide them with more food than usual. During the winter, and times of prolonged cold, animals need extra energy for body heat. Likewise ensure animals have a consistent and adequate supply of water. If possible, use plastic bowls for metal and food to protect their tongues in freezing weather. Check often to ensure the water is not frozen, […]

O Christmas Tree… Farms!

One of my favorite holiday traditions has always been going to a Christmas tree farm with my mom and cutting down our own Christmas tree. I love the experience and the smell of a live tree in our house. Artificial vs. Live Live trees have positive and negative attributes associated with them. Live trees emit a pine smell that some people really like and others do not, there is an experience that goes along with choosing a live tree, and for some it is merely a tradition. Artificial trees are reusable year to year, their needles do not fall off, […]

Winter Safety on the Farm – Keeping Animals and Equipment Safe

During the winter, it can be tempting to run back into the house to the warmth of the fireplace. As appealing as this may be, it is crucial to take precautionary steps to protect your farm during winter months. In part I of Winter Safety on the Farm, we will discuss how to protect your farm equipment and buildings during the cold winter months. Before a storm occurs, it is important to be prepared. Stockpile emergency materials such as sandbags, an electric generator, shovels and road salt. Having these materials before a storm hits will prevent you from traveling in bad weather. Additionally, take time to winterize any […]

Its Harvest time—Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, and…Grapes?

Around this time of year, the weather starts to change slightly—the mornings are crisper and the evenings require a light jacket. This weather change coincides with farmers harvesting many of the major crops such as corn, cotton, and soybeans. Many people do not realize, however, that this is also harvest time for grapes. Why is Harvesting Time Important? Harvesting is a critical step in the winemaking process because harvesting the grape too soon or too late can drastically change the taste of the wine produced. Some growers base harvest time on the taste of the grape, many others use equipment that […]

National Farm Safety and Health Week 2012

With the President’s proclamation, this week is officially dubed National Farm Safety and Health Week 2012! In this message the President declared…”I call upon the agencies, organizations, businesses, and extension services that serve America’s agricultural workers to strengthen their commitment to promoting farm safety and health programs. I also urge Americans to honor our agricultural heritage and express appreciation to our farmers, ranchers, and farm-workers for their contributions to our Nation”.