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EXTENSION CONNECTION: Share the road safely with farmers, producers

We’ve finally made it to warmer weather! This season has me thinking about barbecues and beach days, but it means more to our area farmers. This season is planting season!

Farmers are busy planting crops like peanuts and cotton and soybeans. Also, hay producers are busy getting their first hay cutting of the year into the barns.

Livestock owners are putting in summer forages. Vegetable producers are growing ]veggies such as tomatoes and watermelons.

Share the roads

This busy time of year for farmers means more farm equipment on the roads than usual.

A local farmer plants peanuts in Okaloosa County.

These hardworking men and women are fighting against the elements and equipment failures to get tasks done in a timely manner. Most often, harvest and planting have to be completed in a small window of good weather. They are under a time crunch to produce the food and fiber that we often take for granted. The least we can do is share the road safely with them.

Farm vehicles are legally entitled to be on the roads. They are wide and slow moving. If you must pass them do so carefully and legally. Don’t assume that the driver of these large vehicles sees you and knows that you are there. A few minutes of patience could potentially save a life – maybe even your own.

So, let’s all slow down and enjoy all of the sights, sounds and smells of this season. Show your appreciation to farmers on the roads by having patience and being extra careful. They are busy providing food and fiber for us to enjoy!

Jennifer Bearden

Jennifer Bearden is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: EXTENSION CONNECTION: Share the road safely with farmers, producers