Grain storage bins

Preparing silos and bins for harvest

Be safe while preparing silos and bins for harvest

We all know that farming is potentially a very dangerous occupation if precautions and safety are not top-of-mind in everything we do. We may, or can easily take for granted every action we perform every day, working at the things we love. Harvest is an exciting time for everyone, but please, take the time to plan every step of the way and come home safe to your loved ones. Read more

True Armyworm larvae photo

Watch for Armyworm in spring cereals and mixed forages

By Tracey Baute

Armyworm has been spotted at low levels in a few winter wheat fields, though being so close to harvest, it is really not a concern in that crop. However, it does indicate a need to keep an eye out for them in spring cereals, as well as mixed forages (as they like to feed on grasses). True armyworm larvae can vary in colour from green to reddish-brown but all have white-bordered stripes running laterally along the body. True armyworm also have dark diagonal bands at the top of each abdominal proleg and a yellowish-brown head with a network of dark-brown lines creating a mottled pattern.

True Armyworm larvae photo

True Armyworm larvae. Photo by T. Baute, OMAFRA.

Scouting Guidelines: Scout every 4 days to stay ahead of any potential invasions. The best time to scout for true armyworm is shortly after dusk when larvae are actively feeding.  In cereals and mixed forages, examine 10 areas of the field, assessing the number of larvae per 30 cm x 30 cm (1 ft2). Pay particular attention to the border area directly adjacent to other grassy host crops. During the day, if it is cloudy and overcast, you might be lucky enough to see larvae on the head of the plant but on sunny days, they will be down on the ground among the crop debris or under soil clods. Brown frass may also be present on the plants and on the soil surface. Birds diving into your field is a good indication that there are good eats there so take a look.

True-Armyworm-parasitized-by-tachinid-fly-J-Smith-UGRC-pointing-to-egg_01

True Armyworm parasitized by Tachinid fly. Photo by J Smith UGRC pointing to egg.

When you do find larvae,  look for any white eggs that may be attached to the backs of the armyworm larvae. This is a sign that the larvae have been parasitized by one of its parasites which have done the job for you. Avoid treating with insecticides when large numbers of parasitized larvae are present as they have already been controlled by parasitoids or when larvae are close to 2.5 cm in length, as insecticides will no longer be effective and the larvae will soon stop feeding.

Threshold for Mixed Forages: Control is warranted when five or more larvae (smaller than 2.5 cm) per square foot are found. In seedling crops, two to three larvae (smaller than 2.5 cm) per square foot may warrant control.

Threshold for Cereals: Chemical control is warranted if there are 4 to 5 un-parasitized larvae per 30 cm x 30 cm and the larvae are smaller than 2.5 cm. If a significant amount of wheat head clipping is occurring, spray may be warranted if larvae are still actively feeding, are smaller than 2.5 cm and as long as pre-harvest intervals have not been reached.


Source: Field Crop News

forklift safety

Lifting and rigging safety

Lifting and rigging work is considered a high hazard task.

Protect yourself, your coworkers and the people around you while performing any hazardous type of work–on the job or at home.

There are a lot of associated hazards that accompany lifting any loads with cranes or equipment. It is important to not only understand proper rigging techniques, but also the other hazards that accompany this type of work task.

Lifting and rigging incidents

The first type of incident regarding lifting and rigging is some type of breakage of a sling, wire rope, or chain resulting in a dropped load. While these type of incidents usually have the most severe consequences, there are often many other types of less severe incidents that cause the majority of injuries or property damage.

Some of the other injuries and incidents that occur are sprains, falls, crush injuries, electrocutions, and struck-by incidents.

Hazards such as swinging loads, manual handling of heavy rigging, holding on to tag lines, moving equipment, pinch points, working on elevated surfaces, trip hazards, slippery surfaces, etc. can all be present during lifting operations.

Safe work practices

  • Anyone in a work area where a lift is being performed should be properly trained on the work scope, hazards, and mitigations of the task.
  • Inspect all rigging prior to using it for a lift.
  • All rigging should be properly stored after lifting operations are complete. Proper storage helps prevent the rigging from being damaged.

Summary

Proper planning and forethought is important to eliminate hazards and avoid incidents.

Be aware of the hazards that affect you and your coworkers on each unique lift that is completed.


The safety of our employees, customers, contractors, suppliers, visitors and the community is of the utmost importance to us.

Work safe. Farm safe. Home safe.™