Power Line Safety for Harvest

September 16, 2021 10:05 AM
Blog Post

Safety should always be at the forefront of your farming operations, and harvest is no different. When operating large equipment such as combines and grain carts, overhead power lines pose an increased risk to farm safety. An average of 62 people each year are electrocuted when their farm machinery contacts a power line.

To avoid potential incidents on your farm operation, follow these tips and those in the video below. ISU Digital Ag and ISU Extension and Outreach wish you a safe and productive harvest season. 

  1. Always fold in the auger on your grain cart or combine when it is not in use.
  2. Maintain a minimum of 10 feet in all directions (including above) between your machine and the power lines.
  3. Scout your fields for potential risks before harvesting, including low power lines or poles in the path of your equipment. Take this time to also identify the power company that manages the area so you can take note of who to call in case of an emergency.
  4. Overhead power lines should be at least 18 feet from the ground. Know which of your machines run the risk of touching a line, and take steps to avoid it. If you see any sagging or damaged power lines, contact your power company immediately.

 

Authors: 

Ryan Bergman Program Coordinator in Ag Technology

Ryan Bergman is a Program Coordinator in Ag Technology at Iowa State University where he is part of a 20+ person research team focusing on precision agriculture, big data, telematics, data analytics, aerial imagery, and ag machinery automation. Ryan has received both his bachelor’s and mas...