It is that time of year to be on the lookout for farm equipment on the highway. As the population shifts from urban to rural areas, traffic is increasing on rural roads. This trend stresses the need for farm tractor operators and motorists to become more aware of collision hazards. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 50 tractor-operator fatalities occur each year from collisions with motor vehicles or trains. This does not include non-fatal injuries and fatalities of occupants of other vehicles involved in the collision.

A tractor operator’s best defense to avoid a collision with a motor vehicle on public roads is to make the tractor as visible as possible. This is critical because of the difference in travel speed. For example, a car traveling 50 miles per hour approaches a tractor traveling 20 miles per hour in the same direction on the road. If the driver of the car first notices the tractor while still 400 feet behind it, the driver has less than 10 seconds to avoid a collision with the tractor. In this time, the driver of the car must recognize the danger, determine the speed the tractor is traveling, and decide what action to take.

 Texas traffic law requires that farm tractors with a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour be equipped with a slow-moving-vehicle (SMV) emblem on the rear of the tractor. When towing a trailer or other equipment that blocks the SMV emblem, another SMV emblem must be attached at the rear of the towed equipment.

Backyard Pecan Program

Texas AgriLife Extension Erath County and the Erath County Master Gardeners will be offering a Backyard Pecan Program for homeowners that have one tree to several trees April 11, 2019. Registration will start at 9:30 at the Tarleton Southwest Regional Dairy Center (2929 North US 281 Stephenville). One CEU will be given for pesticide license.

Program topics and speakers will include Pecan Tree Management & Production, Monte Nesbitt, State Pecan Specialist and Pecan Insect Management, Bill Ree, State Pecan Entomologist. 

Registration fee is $20 with lunch sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance.

If you are wanting to increase backyard pecan production, this is a program that you will not want to miss.

Spring DOPA Program

 Spring Dairy DOPA Program will be held April 9, 2019 at the Texas AgriLife Research Extension Center. The DOPA program is hosted by Erath, Comanche and Hamilton Texas AgriLife Extension Service.  Registration will begin at 9:30. The Program will be from 10:00am - 4:00pm.  The morning program will include DairyMAX Manure Management Crisis Drill, presented by Bill Keating, Senior Director, Issues & Crisis for DairyMAX. The afternoon program will include Irrigation out of Lagoons & Salt Levels, presented by Dana Porter, Professor, Extension Program Leader and Associate Department Head, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Relationship of Fly Management & Manure, presented by Sonjia Swiger, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Entomology, New Manure Management Regulations, Presented by Darrin Turley, Executive Direct.

Five DOPA credits offered.  Two DOPA Credits for the morning session and three DOPA Credits for the afternoon session. Lunch will be provided at no cost by our sponsors. 

Lonnie Jeschke is an Erath County extension agent.