1.) Maintain grain quality (e.g. moisture, heat, etc)
2.) Never enter a bin without a “bin entry permit”
3.) Never enter a grain bin unless it is really truly necessary
4.) Never enter a grain bin alone – have an outside observer who can both see and hear you
5.) Most young teens do not have the experience to be your wingman
6.) Time is of the essence – if you’re engulfed, it takes only 90 seconds for you to die
7.) The outside observer needs to have a sure quick method to contact emergency responders in an emergency
8.) Always lockout unloading equipment before entering (so they can’t be turned on by mistake)
9.) Always check oxygen (min 19.5%) and toxic/inflammable gas levels (phosphine CO2 dust etc) before entry
10.) Always always always use secure a lifeline (harness/rope/ladder) for everyone inside
12.) The lifesaving tip of last resort = cross your arms in front of your chest if you’re sinking – so that you can breathe
13.) Even during the most frantic times, never every risk your or anyone else’s life with a 5-minute shortcut
14.) Have a written plan for training and rescue
15.) The most important safety tip – train-and-practice often
Grain bin safety is such an important task that no one should take lightly. In addition to the tips above we want to share a fantastic contest with you that is going on now. Nominate your local fire department to win an invaluable grain bin rescue training and the rescue tube, brought to you by Nationwide Agribusiness.
Other great resources:
- Grain Bin Safety videos: http://youtube.com and http://google.com
- Farm Safety for Just Kids at http://www.farmsafetyforjustkids.org/
- National Education Center for Ag Safety at NE IO CC at http://www.necasag.org/
This week we’ve been discussing a technology that seems to be rattling the agriculture industry – unmanned aerial systems. We had a fantastic discussion last night during #AgChat on Twitter where we discussed various sub-topics such as types of UAS to the legalities behind the devices. While the technology is becoming more readily available, its important that you understand the facts behind utilizing it. Therefore, we have provided a reference guide to assist you as you make decisions about how you will fit it into your farm or ranch.
reposted from AgTechTalk.com with permission from Chad Colby
One of the most promising new technologies for use in agriculture is Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). These systems have the potential for farmers to monitor their crops for problems in a quick and affordable manner. It is very important to understand the facts about this new technology. I continue to hear of farmers planning to hire newly formed UAS companies for 2014, and that my friends is against the law. If a company is offering you a service to provide images or information from a UAS for a fee – it is ILLEGAL.
Many companies in the Agriculture Industry are investing millions to learn how to understand the capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Systems. In the spring of 2014 you can expect lots of expanded research to understand how to measure the vegetative index of a plant to detect issues like disease, nitrogen deficiency, flooding, etc. To do this they will use infrared and thermal camera technology. Colleges and Universities all over the country are also working to help develop programs for students who can support this new industry. The uses for this technology is truthfully unlimited.
Two different aerial systems exist to do this type of data collection. One is a small helicopter with three to four rotors and the other is a small fixed wing airplane. The one you should choose depends on your mission and which systems works best. Honestly, the actual ship is the easy part. The technology already exists to do almost all functions needed to “scout” and get imagery of any field.
The biggest development over the next year or two will be the camera technology used in the systems. Camera designers are currently working to build a camera specifically for UAS. These cameras hold the future of how effective UAS will be in agriculture. It’s easy to get an infrared image, the challenge is to be able to make effective decisions with the data collected. A few weeks ago I saw a new design of a thermal camera, and wow was it impressive. I will be doing some independent testing of cameras in the spring of 2014 and will be reporting back on those.
One of the major reasons I have become outspoken about UAS is because of the lack of knowledge about this topic. There seems to be some serious confusion about the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. It’s very important if you are considering this application on your farm is to understand the rules. The facts are this simple: If an individual or company flies any unmanned aircraft for commercial use, it’s against the law. Period. You can use a unmanned aircraft for non commercial or private use, provided you operate it correctly as a hobby aircraft.
Beginning at a young age, Chad Colby’s passion revolved around technology. Known as the “tech guy” amongst his friends and family, Chad grew up in Bureau County, IL, where he worked on the family farm. After leaving the farm, he spent several years with a Los Angeles based aviation construction company developing, building, and designing airport hangar projects across the country. During this time, Chad earned his pilot’s license and found a passion for aviation. He then returned to his roots in Illinois and combined agriculture with aviation to educate farmers and ranchers about the latest technology in the industry. In 2013, Chad developed AgTechTalk.com to provide readers with the best information pertaining to unmanned aerial systems. As a guest speaker at the 2013 John Deere Global IT Conference he shared his expertise while presenting, “Drones in Agriculture, the Next Phase in Precision Farming.” Most recently he has been involved with Market to Market as well as This Week in Agribusiness’ and travels the country delivering presentations about the latest in precision agriculture. Chad resides in Bloomington, IL with his wife Karen (partner at McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics) and daughter Bristol. Connect with Chad on Twitter: @TheChadColby, by visiting www.AgTechTalk.com or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week we’ve been discussing young/new farmers and startup businesses. The Tuesday night #AgChat was fast-paced and fun! Questions ranged from determining the “ideal” age for a young farmer to challenges facing new farmers and types of skills needed to be successful.
A unique success story we would like to highlight comes from Minnesota and the Redhead Creamery. We were able to catch up with Alise Sjstrom, President and dreamer maker behind the expansion of her family’s dairy.
Q: The Redhead Creamery is a new venture for your family. What was your motivation for beginning the Redhead Creamery?
A: The idea of coming home to my parent’s farm to make cheese came from a trip to the National 4-H Dairy Conference when I was a senior in high school. We toured Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, and I was hooked. I came home and told my parents that the only way I would come home to the farm was if I could make cheese. They said ‘go for it’. I’ve basically dedicated my life to cheese ever since.
Q: If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
A: I’m not sure that we would do anything differently if we were to run a campaign again. Some of the best advice we got prior to launching is to give ourselves enough time to get the rewards out. It takes some time to get everything organized, no need to beat yourself up over it.
Q: Are you providing tours of the creamery?
A: Once we are up and running, tours will be available at the creamery. We are still a few months out before we can begin production.
Q: What is it that connects the creamery to the consumer?
A: We specifically designed the creamery so that the public can come in and watch us making cheese without interrupting the actual cheesemaking process. The processing area is all on one floor - the basement. The public can come in on the upper floor and look down through viewing windows into the cheesemaking room. The upstairs also has a kitchen and tasting room where we hope to host smaller events and gatherings.
This week we’ll be talking about Young Farmers during #AgChat, Tues., Jan. 14th, 8-9PMET (NOTE TIME CHANGE). The conversation will continue on the blog throughout the week with additional young farmer posts.
With the average age of an American farmer being 57, there is a substantial need for young farmers. Today’s young farmer faces challenges which have hampered the ability to begin their business and lively hood. Two of those challenges include the availability of land and prohibitive costs.
In locations of the country such as Pennsylvania, there are efforts like PA FarmLink which connect older farmers with the younger generations. The goal is to eventually transition the state’s 4.2 million acres, owned by farmers age 55 and younger, over to younger age groups. This movement will ensure that those acres will remain in production agriculture. While this example is specific to Pennsylvania, you can check with local resources such as your county Farm Bureau.
Overcoming the challenges of cost are not always that simple. In some cases young farmers are looking towards more non-traditional, niche operations. In the state of Illinois for instance, farms such as Marcoot Jersey Creamery and Ropp Jersey Farm have transitioned from sending their milk to dairies into becoming on-site cheese makers. In both cases, this has allowed younger generations to become invested in the farms. Another Illinois farm family, the Kilgus Farmstead, manage a direct to customer operation raising Jersey milk cows, beef, meat goats and pork. In 2009 they became the first farmstead to bottle their own milk. Changing their business structure and bottling on-site allowed for more of the younger family members to become part of the farm. In all three cases the producers are dedicated to telling their stories to the public by offering on-site stores, tours and seasonal events.
While these are certainly not the only challenges facing today’s young farmer they tend to be most prominent. Later this week we will share some additional resources to help guide you to follow your dream of being a farmer.
What are some other challenges facing young farmers and the solutions behind those challenges?
written by Jenny Schweigert
Jenny serves as the AgChat Foundation Communications Director while helping manage her family’s small hobby farm in central Illinois. In addition to AgChat.org, she can be found blogging about life on the farm, Jersey dairy cattle, hunting and her boys, all at TheMagicFarmHouse.com.