The sight of equipment moving down the road can be an awesome sight. It’s also one that can be nerve wracking for the equipment operator and those who meet that equipment on the roadway.

With a little ‘looking ahead’, maybe it doesn’t have to be. Start with an understanding of the vehicles on the road. Loaded sprayers, semis, etc… don’t stop quickly. Smaller cars can’t see around/over large vehicles in front of them. Drivers should consider not only what they are driving and how it handles, but also what the driver they are meeting or attempting to pass is dealing with as well. Look at your surroundings, asking yourself questions like: can other drivers see me entering or exiting? Is it likely the equipment ahead of me is going to get up to my speed or not? Will they be entering that field exit ahead? Sometimes, we know the terrain around us, what traffic patterns look like, and maybe even the possibility the next farmstead will be the exit for the equipment in front of us. Often we do not, and an abundance of caution should be exercised when meeting or passing equipment. Consider options that make you more visible. If you are behind large equipment, can they see your smaller vehicle? Are your lights on?

Are you signaling appropriately? Slower moving vehicles often have good caution lights as standard equipment, but there may be improvements you can make to help them be even more visible. If you’re behind large equipment, look for lights on the machine. If you are the machine operator, make sure all lights are clearly visible, checking signal operation frequently. If you’re an equipment operator looking for tips on spray rig safety on the road, Purdue Extension had a great publication entitled Keep the Spray Rig on the Road and Out of Trouble. Drop me a line if you are interested in a copy.

Tailgate Talk – July 14th

Make sure to RSVP for this year’s Tailgate Talk on Wednesday, July 14th hosted by the Henry and Tracy Hill family northeast of Holton (one quarter mile east of S and 254th Roads). A light supper from the Jackson County Conservation District will be served at 5:30 with the program at 6:00. RSVP by July 9th by contacting the Holton Office of the Meadowlark Extension District 785-364-4125 or online at https://tinyurl.com/tailgatetalk2021. Hope to see you there!

They’ve Returned — Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are back and feeding again. The half inch long metallic green beetle with coppery wing covers outlined by white dots feeds on over 300 species of plants, meaning they’ll likely be feeding over the next six weeks in a landscape or garden near you. Beetles feed in groups at the top of the plant and work down. When disturbed, they drop from the plant, so adult beetles can be killed by shaking the beetles from the plant into a jar or bucket containing soapy water. This is best done in the morning when the insects are sluggish. LOTS of insecticides can be used and typically provide a couple weeks’ protection depending on the product. Always read and follow label directions. Traps are not recommended July 2, 2021 unless used on a commercial scale, as they tend to attract more beetles than they kill. Check out our Facebook page for more information on Japanese beetle management in your landscape or garden at: https://www.facebook.com/Meadow larkextensiondistrict.

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