Ag Experts Say The Danger Of Field Fires This Harvest Season Will Likely Be Very High

Fri 9-15-2023

(Worthington, Mn.)– Crop experts say the upcoming harvest season could be a bad one for field fires. Liz Stahl of the University of Minnesota Extension Office in Worthington says the ongoing drought conditions have left many fields in a tinder-dry condition. She says just the slightest spark could set off a fire that would likely spread very quickly. Stahl recommends producers have some resources in place just in case…

Harvest concerns liz 23 

Have some tillage equipment hooked up to the tractor when you’re out there combining and be ready to run out in the field with that equipment and make a fire break just in case a fire would start. Make sure you’re cleaning out equipment really well so you don’t have any residue where you’ve got belts moving a lot of where there’s a lot of heat generated. One little spark and you could start off a fire. Have fire extinguishers handy as well. Other things to be thinking about this year, too, is just the conditions that we’ve had. We could have more variable moisture out in the field this year, too, so that might create some more challenges at harvest and with grain storage, too. You don’t want to get hot spots in the grain, for example. You’ve got spots with higher moisture and not once it’s in storage. You could have a little more issue with your yield calibration too if you’ve got a lot of variability with moisture. Smaller ears than you’re used to, smaller kernels, smaller soybeans. You could see more shattering of the grains.”

Stahl also says there will likely be a lot of dust. She says producers who are sensitive to that may want consider wearing a mask.