6 Tips for a Safe Planting Season April 21, 2022 Spring is right around the corner, meaning planting will be top of mind for growers across the U.S. As the season changes, and excitement builds, it is important to remember these tips to ensure an effective and, most importantly, safe planting season. 1. Perform Equipment Checks Ensuring all equipment is clean, safe, and ready to go for planting is an important first step. Before using any equipment, a safety check should be performed, and all technology updated. Safety and equipment checks should include: Ensure all lights and signals are working properly. Inspect and replace parts as needed by starting equipment and ensuring it’s running properly. Check tire pressure and tread wear, and confirm lug nuts are tightened Make sure all equipment, including nozzles, is clean issues like grease, oil, debris, and rodent nests. Check the quality and levels of fluids, including oil and fuel Conducting these checks helps to prevent unnecessary delays due to malfunctioning equipment or technology. 2. Check and Follow Labels There is a reason companies regularly repeat the phrase, “Always read and follow the label’s instructions.” Applying products like herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and fertilizer incorrectly, or using an expired product, can have harmful effects not only on your crops but on your health. Before applying or handling a product, always check the label and follow it exactly. 3. Wear the Right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Before applying or handling any chemicals, it is important to check to be sure proper PPE is available, well fitted and functions properly. Do not overlook cautionary statements. Always protect your skin, eyes and lungs with proper PPE which may include long sleeves, gloves, masks and eyewear. Always have first aid available in case of accidents. 4. Take care of your body: sleep & eat right Planting can be a stressful and hectic time, so it is important to ensure your body is being taken care of. While it is important to get the crop planted in a timely fashion, not getting enough sleep or eating good food can have a long-term impact on health. During planting, make sure to prioritize quality sleep and eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. 5. Ask for help There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, great things can come from it! Whether it is holding a flashlight to help fix a part, lifting a heavy item or confirming a confusing detail, asking for help will almost always save time in the long run. Before planting begins, determine who is available to help at planting. Make a schedule and use it to help make sure everyone knows who and where everyone is. Have important phone numbers and contacts saved and easily accessible. It is also encouraged to check in on friends and family to see how planting is going for them and offering encouragement or identifying resources when needed. Planting can be stressful and showing support for friends and neighbors can mean a lot. 6. Have a plan and communicate it Taking time to prepare for a safe planting season and reviewing the plan early and often with your team is a great way to maximize efficiency during planting. It’s also important to note important details that happened so you can refer to them throughout the season and when preparing for the next growing season. For more information or support for the upcoming growing season, contact your CHS agronomy sales representative.