Kentucky Ag News

Western Kentucky farm appeals to neighbors for patience on the roads


Kentucky Agricultural News staff report


CUNNINGHAM, Ky. – A western Kentucky farm took the initiative to ask its non-farm neighbors for patience and understanding as spring planting season gets under way and farm implements are about to hit Kentucky's roadways.


Davis Brothers Farms of Cunningham in Carlisle County placed an advertisement in the Paducah Sun newspaper explaining that it's sometimes necessary for farmers to drive farm machinery on the roadways and urging drivers to play it safe when they encounter a tractor, sprayer, combine, or other large, slow-moving farm machine. Davis Farms also posted the content of the ad on the farm's blog.


"We are identifying advocacy as a responsibility of ours in both social and public media outlets," Brandon Wilson, agronomic and technological solutions specialist at Davis Brothers Farms, wrote in an email.


The ad caught the eye of Dale Dobson, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Farm and Home Safety Program Administrator.


Davis Brothers Farms, operated by Jeff and Roger Davis, has been in operation for 36 years.


The text of the ad follows:


Spring is within arm’s reach and hopefully, the cold, wind, ice and snow will be behind us at least for a season or two. While this indicates a revival for both nature and people – as we all emerge from our winter hiding places – for our rural communities, this also signifies the time for farming. Davis Brothers Farms is counting down the days until we may enter the fields to begin preparation for planting both corn and soybeans, as well as tending to our wheat crop. These occurrences call for an opportunity for the communities and farmers to interact with one another. The gathering place for such a rendezvous oftentimes occurs on our local roadways. It’s likely that if you’re reading this piece, you’ve encountered farm machinery that has at the very least – caused you to slow down while you were making your way through the rural countryside. Davis Brothers Farms humbly understands that no one wants to add to the stress of their roadway travels, especially if it means being unexpectedly late due to getting caught behind a tractor or other farm machinery traveling approximately 21 miles per hour. We also wish
to ease some of this stress by offering just a few ideas about this unique interaction between farmers and rural travelers.

The first thing to consider is that we do not wish to slow you down or cause any negativity to occur as a result of our traveling from farm to farm. We are also people, and each of our machinery operators has been stuck in a long line of traffic following a combine down a narrow state highway at some point in the past while trying to make a punctual presence to their appointments. We share your pain. However, here are a few insights we offer to help you – the community and agricultural product consumers – understand the “why” of these large pieces of equipment traveling so slowly and potentially blocking traffic for seemingly miles at a time. Our tractors, sprayers, and combines are large. Additionally, the
implements we tow are also large. This means that in order to reduce our risk of an accident or injury, operators have to calculate ever so cautiously the decision to pull off the road and allow traffic to pass – or wait until a safer, more advantageous location presents itself to do so. In fact, at Davis Brothers Farms, we have implements that are very top heavy. In light of this, our operators are not able to pull off the side of the road without the implement tipping over, and presenting even more risk of danger. Therefore, while our operators may slow down and allow vehicles to pass in a safe and appropriately marked location, we might not always be able to pull off the road and come to a complete stop. However, in any circumstance, we can assure you that at Davis Brothers Farms, each operator is instructed, via training, to do all that we can to NOT slow traffic as much as possible.

Our aim is to lift up the community by providing safe agricultural products. And we hope to do this without slowing you down, on the road, if possible. But in the event that we do meet on the roadways – and we likely will, we beg for your patience, and we’ll try to do all we can to accommodate a speedy pass of the
machinery -- and you’ll be on your way. And hopefully, we’ll all have the opportunity to complete this interaction with smiles on our faces. God bless you the community and the American farmer – because we all live together in this wonderful area that comprises the far reaches of Western Kentucky.