Grains of Knowledge

Part I of Pesky Visitors: Who Are They and How Did They Get Here?

It is hard not to bring back delicious treats, beautiful plants, and other handcrafted items from your travels, but these items may be transporting invasive species, which can cause extensive damage to ecosystems and economies. Photo uploaded by USDA gov (U.S. Department of Agriculture) The USDA defines an invasive species as a “non-native (alien) species to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Invasive species can include anything from non-native plants and large animals to microscopic insects, and they can cause a lot of damage […]

Seeing the light during a black out

Millions of residents stared into their dark house as electricity failed after the recent storms in the Eastern part of the U.S.  After only a few hours without electricity food spoils and modern electronics quickly die. This creates a state of panic.  Preparation is the key to staying safe before a storm has passed. Here are some suggestions to help you and your family remain safe. Clear your storm drains. Unclog gutters using a rake, broom or shovel so water cannot accumulate and flood. Prevent mudflows and landslides, if you live on a soil slope, by punching straw into the […]

Farming in the Summer Heat

Each year, nearly 500 people in the United States are killed due to the effects of heat. More people die, or are severely injured, from equipment accidents and falls where heat is the underlying cause. The Integrated Pest Management Network at Oregon State University reports that agricultural workers file for more workers’ compensation claims due to heat than any other occupation. With temperatures reaching 100 degrees in June, farmers are at an especially high risk this year. To prevent heat-related illnesses, it is important  to use prevention techniques, recognize the signs and know how to react in the event of […]

Ag Safety: School is out, but safety is not

This post is the third in a series on agricultural safety that will educate readers about the risks associated with various farming and agribusiness jobs, and offer helpful tips for reducing and preventing hazards at your family or business operation. Here at Westfield, we care about the safety of your farm and your family, especially children. Summer will be here soon, and children will be ready to soak up the sun and enjoy the outdoors. We must remember, however, that safety comes first. Children are at a greater risk for agricultural injuries due to their inexperience and inability to be […]

Ag Safety: Detasseling

This post is the second in a series on agricultural safety that will educate readers about the risks associated with various farming and agribusiness jobs, as well as offer helpful tips for reducing and preventing hazards at your family or business operation. The Basics of Detasseling Are you familiar with detasseling corn and the benefits it creates for farmers? Farmers detassel corn to assist in the reproduction of the crop, thus creating a better type of corn seed for the next year’s harvest. One of the key benefits of cross-pollination is the growth of hybrid corn, which produces much larger […]

Spring Safety Tips for the Farm

Here at Westfield, we like to do our part in providing helpful tips to our followers. Below is a list of essential farm safety advice and information that we’ve summarized from a variety of online resources. We also included links to these great sites for your reference. Feel free to share this information with others who can benefit from these tips.

Ag Safety: Grain Bin Hazards and Safety Precautions

This post is the first in a series on agricultural safety that will educate readers about the risks associated with various farming and agribusiness jobs, as well as offer helpful tips for reducing and preventing hazards at your family or business operation. Being a part of the farming and agribusiness industry can be greatly rewarding. In the U.S., families and businesses supply essential produce and consumer goods, support economic growth and contribute to the legacy of American farming. Members of the agriculture community are aware that certain jobs and farming duties can be more hazardous than others. From operating tractors, […]

Christmas Tree Safety

As we enter the holiday season, it is important to remember to be safe while decorating for the holidays.  Last year we brought you Five Tips for the Perfect Christmas Tree, this year we’re sharing Christmas Tree Safety Tips for you. Christmas trees account for 250 fires annually, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries and more than $13.8 million in property damage. When selecting your holiday tree, be sure to tap it on the ground first at the base to see if many needles fall off.  If several needles fall out, select another tree.  Falling needles is an indication that […]

Heat Stress: The Impact on Animals (Part 2 of 2)

Overview As mentioned in Part 1, “Heat Stress: The Impact on Workers,” 2011 has been one of the hottest years on record, in all corners of the country and especially throughout the Midwest. For those whose life’s work depends on animals, it’s important to identify the risks associated with rising temperatures and humidity levels. Heat stress in animals occurs when a combination of health and environmental factors prevent the dissipation of heat from the body. It can have devastating effects on your livestock and business, including health issues, decreases in production and fertility, high mortality rates, and other costs. According […]