Earlier this year, we issued a plea for growers to lay off the edges of fields, especially at corners, and not plant corn right to the road. The goal was to provide visibility to motorists from all directions when late summer and fall approached. That time is here, and we’re looking for growers who heeded the call to make rural intersections safer by not planting every last inch of field near the road. Happily, we’re finding some.
Kudos to the grower in Shelby County, Ind., who made a curve with his planter rather than jamming corn all the way into the corner of a busy intersection on Boggstown Road. Traveling that road recently, it was easy to see what might be coming from the north before pulling onto the road to head south because corn wasn’t all the way to the edge of the road.
What makes his thoughtful gesture timely is that due to a bridge closure on a state road, many people are detouring down Boggstown Road at that intersection. For people not familiar with a road, it’s even more important to have as much visibility as possible so they can see what’s coming.
If you didn’t lay off the edge of the corner when planting, you can still help by knocking down a couple of rows now so people don’t have to pull halfway into an intersection to see if anyone is coming. If you prefer, you can chop off stalks just above the ear; that still helps with visibility and gives you those couple of rows to harvest.
Taking time to make your intersections safe is a tribute to Ronnie Mohr, Greenfield, Ind., who died in late 2020. Named a Master Farmer in 2019 with his wife, Sarah, Mohr spent the last three years of his life championing the cause to make rural intersections safer. His brother, Joe, was involved in a serious accident with a self-propelled sprayer just a few years ago. Tall crops and the inability to see what was coming was named as a major contributing factor in that accident.
Some intersections are dangerous up until corn is harvested if corn is planted close enough to the road. So even if you haven’t knocked back some rows yet, there is still time to do so. The accident you prevent and possible life you save might be a neighbor or even one of your own family members!
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