September is Farm Safety Awareness Month

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (September 27, 2022) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agriculture Program is recognizing and sharing the word that September is Farm Safety Awareness Month. In addition, full blown harvest season is upon us, and we all need to be aware of and take caution to tractors and other large farm machinery on the roads. As a person in the agricultural industry, it is gut wrenching to read in the news that a tractor or combine or any type of machinery has been rear-ended, cut off, or hit in any way. All drivers on the road need to be alert and pay attention!

The typical farmer works from before the sun is up until well after the sun goes down during harvest season. The animals still need their daily care and basic needs met, so harvest is above and beyond the normal farmers hours.

All farm machinery, animal powered vehicles/equipment, or machinery/equipment that travel less than 40 miles per hour must have a Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem displayed on the back. This can be identified as a bright orange triangle. These vehicles are not required to move over or ride on the side of the road.

What are motorists’ responsibilities when they encounter a slow-moving vehicle?

  • Slow down immediately when you see a vehicle or equipment with a SMV emblem in the road
  • Increase following distance to create a safety cushion
  • Be alert and watch for turns into fields
  • Drive courteously
  • Pass with care only when it is safe and legal to do so
  • Be aware that animal-powered vehicles may make unanticipated movements
  • Remember SMV operators may have poor visibility due to loads and equipment in tow
  • Be aware that equipment in tow may sway on the road

For more up to date information on slow-moving vehicles and proper responses when encountering them you can visit the following websites: or

The Agriculture Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Last updated September 27, 2022