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Harvest safety after combine accident

(KVLY)
Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 10:54 PM CDT
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A man is recovering after getting his foot injured in the auger of a combine.

It happened as he farmed near Buffalo, North Dakota Thursday morning.

The incident is a wake up call to farmers, especially those rushing to get their weather-beaten crops out of the ground.

While the days are getting shorter for most of us, they are getting longer for farmers who say, it's crunch time.

Terry Sauvageau has been farming for 45 years. He's got soy beans, wheat and corn.

During all those years of farming, he's luckily never been involved in a serious accident.

That's not the case for all of his fellow farmers.

"When something happens to another farmer, you always worry about it," Sauvageau says. "You should always shut your machine off if you're going to get out and check something. There are times you get in a hurry and that's when accidents happen."

What's leading to the rush to get stuff done is the stressful harvest season.

A lot of crops are still in the field and the clock is ticking.

"We have to keep in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint," Extension Agricultural Engineer Ken Hellevang says. "If we are going to continue to get the crop harvested, we need to make sure that we are pacing ourselves."

Combines, augers and tractors alike, Hellevang says these machines are so powerful that farmers don't stand a chance if they get caught in one.

He also tells us, it's often times the farmers who have been doing it the longest that think they can get away with doing something they probably shouldn't.

But, it only takes once.

"On a farm, you are the owner, you are the operator, you are everything," Hellevang says. "It's easier to cut corners and think you well get it "this" time. Unfortunately, that's not true."

Although many farmers livelihoods depend on getting these crops out on time, many say, it's not worth your life.

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