Tag: farm equipment

Maryland Farm Bureau Hosts Legislative Day

maryland farm bureau hosts legislative day
Annual Day in Annapolis Brings Farmers, Legislators Together

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (February 10, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) hosted its annual Day in Annapolis yesterday to give its members the opportunity to stay up-to-date on legislation affecting farming and rural communities and to visit with their legislators. The format, virtual due to the Maryland Capitol’s pandemic closure, allowed for nearly 50 legislators and 120 farmers to interact, with an issues briefing, questions, and break-out sessions.

“We know how important these bills are — especially their implications for Maryland’s farming community. Thank you to all of the legislators and staff for taking the time to learn how these issues affect our ability to grow and raise food, fiber, and renewable fuel, as well,” said Wayne Stafford, MDFB president.

Proposed legislation that MDFB is currently following are bills moving pesticide regulation from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE); deer and wildlife damage to crops and privately owned farmland; permitting and air quality regulations; and the right to repair farm equipment.

“The right-to-repair bill helps to ensure that all sizes of farms can continue to operate to meet time-sensitive needs of crops, and aren’t dependent on huge companies,” said Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. “I know large equipment companies are fighting this, so we should look out for the small family farmer. I’m 100% with Maryland Farm Bureau on this and happy to continue to move that forward.”

MDFB’s list of priority bills include the following, which it supports:

  • SB 296/HB 558: Establishes a definition for “agritourism” with regards to land use. It adds camping and incidental outdoor stays to the state’s definition of agritourism.
  • HB 562: Requires farm equipment manufacturers to provide farmers the capability and tools needed to repair their own modern farm equipment, so that they are not dependent on over-committed technical service providers during the busiest times of the year for farming.
  • Various bills establishing funds to help urban agriculture, such as HB 855 with water and power infrastructure.
  • SB 800: Sales and use tax exemption for agricultural electricity.
  • Various bills allowing the management of deer/wildlife on private and state-owned property to reduce widespread destruction of crops, such as SB 497/HB 592, and in Baltimore County SB 427/HB 682.
  • SB 582: Provides that if a landowner directly invites or permits an individual to use their property for hunting, the invited individual assumes all responsibility and liability for their own safety.

 

A number of bills introduced during this session would make farming more difficult in Maryland.

“Several of these bills would cause undue burden and hardship on Maryland farmers while costs related to operating a farm today continue to rise,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “Some of these bills ignore decades of conservation management efforts and best management practices farmers have put in place to protect air and water quality and soil health. Farmers build a livelihood for themselves and their families right next to or on the same land in which they grow crops and raise livestock; being good stewards of the environment is always in their best interest.”

Maryland Farm Bureau opposes the following bills:

  • HB 11: Excludes many energy sources derived from agricultural production from the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
  • SB 268/HB 387: Would move pesticide regulation from MDA to MDE.
  • HB 596: Grants Marylanders standing to intervene on any state application process if they believe another’s action or permit interferes with any of their rights to a clean environment.
  • HB 798: Would create a new government bureaucracy to enact costly air quality requirements for farms above and beyond existing environmental quality standards.
  • HB 496: Establishes the requirement of all employers of all sizes (including self-employed) to pay into a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.

“If we don’t use ag sources such as biomass and thermal energy as renewable energy sources, then all of that waste has to go somewhere not beneficial and is a nuisance,” said Senator Stephen Hershey, on HB 11. “It’s important to continue educating all of our colleagues on how various renewable energy is actually produced and utilized as opposed to negative assumptions based on not understanding.”

Bob Cissel, a Montgomery County farmer, addressed the deer damage and wildlife management bills. “Our deer damage problems in Maryland are like if you had a store and in the mornings you woke up and 9% of your inventory was gone,” he said.

# # #

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that services as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau® is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Learn more at MDFarmBureau.com.  

Media Contact:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Keep Your Rural Roads Safe

KEEP YOUR RURAL ROADS SAFE

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*

Safely navigating large agricultural equipment over rural roads to and from the fields is a challenge for even the best drivers. Nationwide reminds farmers to consider the following rules on the safe operation of equipment to help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions.

Basics

Courts uphold agricultural equipment operator rights for road usage, and regulations for size and type usually don’t apply. But still take necessary precautions to prevent serious injury and damage and ensure that your equipment isn’t in violation. You know accidents can happen any time of day, but remember:

  • Working after dark: Turn on lights, use reflectors or conspicuity tape, display SMV (slow-moving vehicle) sign, consider escort vehicles
  • Trailer pulling: Don’t rely on power unit lights only; this increases collision risk if lights become obstructed
  • “Road rules”: Operators must understand driving hazards; regulations include specific training for equipment operation and environment navigation

 

Left Turns

Operators tend to pull to the right when making wide left turns. Motorists may view this as permission to pass. To prevent accidents:

  • Use turn signals or hand/arm signals
  • Check oncoming traffic
  • Check mirrors and blind spots
 

Bridges

Before crossing rural bridges:

  • Ensure appropriate vehicle weight
  • Allow oncoming traffic to clear the bridge (reduces weight on bridge and provides you space to maneuver)
  • If tires have large lugs for traction, be cautious of guardrail contact that could inadvertently cause equipment to climb the rail or tip off the bridge
 
Passing cars
 

When driving a slow-moving vehicle, never wave a driver to pass. It’s the passing driver’s responsibility to pass – not yours. Also:

  • Don’t drive on the shoulder; you may sideswipe a passing vehicle if you have to swerve to avoid an oncoming mailbox or obstruction
  • Drive with the left side of your vehicle to the centerline, even if your equipment extends onto the shoulder; passing drivers should consider safety and the law before passing

 

Rear-end collisions

Rural road travelers can easily be surprised by a large, slow-moving vehicle — and misjudge their speed and gap distance. To avoid rear-end collisions:

  • Monitor mirrors for fast-approaching vehicles
  • Ensure that the vehicle’s warning devices, such as SMV signs, are visible
  • Consider vehicle escorts on heavily traveled paved roads

 

For more farm safety tips, contact your local Nationwide farm agent or visit mynsightonline.com.  

 
*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2019. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide.

3 questions to ask before lending farm & ag equipment to neighbors

3 questions to ask before lending farm & ag equipment to neighbors


The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

When her husband Mike passed away in 2020, Jolene Palmer was faced with the task of harvesting the Fairfax, Minnesota, farm family’s corn crop —but she wasn’t alone.

Neighboring farmers eagerly volunteered their time and equipment —58 people, 12 combines, 12 grain carts and 28 semis, to be exact —to help her get the crop in the bin.

“In a total of 15 hours, they harvested 1,100 acres. It really was a true effort,” Palmer said.“It went so smoothly. It was just a huge accomplishment and it really made everybody feel good.”Farmers are well known for helping each other in times of need. Lending equipment or a helping hand to neighbors often takes place without a second thought. But like anything in farming, it’s crucial to do proper planning –weighing any safety, liability and insurance considerations.

Before lending farm & ag equipment, consider this scenario

Say your neighbor rolls over your lent tractor, which is one of the most common accidents in farming. Could you be liable for injuries? Will damages to the tractor be covered under your insurance policy?

Change your production systems

Nationwide’s AVP of Risk Management, Jason Berkland, recommends farmers stop and ask themselves three important questions before lending equipment to assist neighbors, including: 

  1. Does my policy extend coverage for rented or lent equipment? Before donating equipment or machinery to help out, confirm any coverage for that equipment with your farm insurance agent.
  2. Is the piece of equipment in good working order? Make sure any machinery or equipment you are lending is well-maintained. That includes having all safety equipment like guards or locks installed and in working order. For additional information on mobile equipment safety, consider our mobile equipment safety training program.
  3. Does the person borrowing the equipment have the experience and ability to run the equipment safely? Confirm who will be operating the equipment and that they have the necessary experience. Also conduct a walk-around together to point out safety features, worn parts and areas to watch while using the equipment. 

Change your production systems

As the #1 farm insurer in the U.S.1, Nationwide has been helping farmers in need for nearly a century –so we get it. We just want to make sure that when farmers help other farmers, safeguards are in place to help protect those involved.

Contact your local Nationwide Farm Certified agent to learn more about the risks of lending farm equipment and to confirm you have the proper coverage. This way, you can be confident in helping your neighbors.

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2021 Nationwide

Benefits of farm equipment asset tracking

Benefits of farm equipment asset tracking

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

Businesses have employed an evolving range of asset tracking tools to help keep track of things like equipment and product inventory since the 1960s. Today, asset tracking is readily available to farmers challenged by managing growing farm machinery and equipment lineups.

Asset tracking platforms like Zubie Asset Trak offer farmers benefits in both the short and long term. And with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to create value and ROI from proactive asset tracking. 

Know farm equipment whereabouts and improve field operations 

If your farm’s growing, that may mean a lot more farm machinery and equipment than in the past. Whether it’s in the field, in the farm shop or anywhere in between, asset tracking creates a new set of eyes for your equipment.

A system like Zubie’s provides real-time location data so you always know where farm equipment is located. During the busy seasons of planting or harvest, this data enables you to make informed short-term decisions in scheduling field operations and managing workers to maximize productivity.

There’s a protective component to asset tracking, too. Systems like Zubie Asset Trak enable the user to create “geofences” that dictate where equipment can be operated. If a piece of equipment is outside that fence, the operator may be working in the wrong place or the equipment has fallen into the wrong hands. Asset tracking enables you to take the right corrective action, whether it’s a simple phone call to an operator or alerting the authorities that your equipment may have been stolen.

Get up to 15% off Zubie Asset Trak devices

Now is a good time to consider adding asset tracking to your growing equipment and machinery lineups. Through an exclusive discount, Nationwide farm policyholders can get up to 15% off Zubie Asset Trak devices and 1- to 3-year service subscriptions without sharing policy information.

Email nationwide@zubie.com to learn more about Zubie Asset Trak and how to integrate the technology into your farm or ranch.

Visit AgInsightCenter.com for more expert tips and information from Nationwide. 

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide

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