Take a Stand for Grain Safety

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News, Risk Management

By Gina Ekstam for AssuredPartners.com Workers in grain handling facilities are exposed to many serious and life-threatening hazards, including fires, falls, and amputations. Suffocation, however, is the leading cause of death in grain storage bins, occurring when an employee becomes engulfed or entrapped inside a bin. Research by Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department reveals an increase in the number of documented cases involving all types of agricultural confined spaces, including grain entrapments. In 2019, the 38 grain entrapment cases recorded represented a 26.7% increase from 2018, substantially higher than the five-year average of 28.8 cases per year. Of the total number of reported entrapment cases, 61% resulted in a fatality, a rate higher than the five-year average. OSHA’s …

Secure Your Farm

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, Risk Management

By Timothy M. Murray, GSP, Risk Control Consultant All industries need security and farming is no exception. In addition to fire and safety, identifying vulnerable property and assets, and keeping online confidential information secure as outlined by Rural Security Planning (Purdue), make sure you have physical protection in place. Below are some suggested steps taken from the American Dairy Association North East for those in the agricultural industry to consider to make their property and operations more secure: Take basic steps to secure your farm and facility, making it more difficult to access by intruders. These include no trespassing signage, motion-sensor lighting, security cameras, gates, fencing, etc. Consider what is visible from the road. Consider the “curb appeal” of your …

PA November COVID-19 Traveler Testing Order Exemptions

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order requiring anyone visiting from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. The Order goes into effect November 20, 2020. Section 4 of the order allows for exemptions as follows: The following individuals are exempt from this testing and quarantine order but shall conduct travel with attention to social distancing and wearing of masks when in contact with other individuals. Individuals travelling to and from the Commonwealth for the purposes of work. Individuals travelling to and from the Commonwealth for medical reasons, including individuals providing comfort and support to the patient. Military personnel travelling to the Commonwealth by order or directive of a …

Combine and Tractor Fires – A Burning Problem

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, Risk Management

Excerpted from John Shutske, UW CALS / Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison Combine and tractor fires cause over $20 million in property losses each year and millions more because of lost time and downed crops during the busy harvest season. They also cause 40 to 50 serious injuries each year and occasionally death. Prevention begins with a focus on keeping machinery clean and eliminating sources of heat that could lead to a fire. Cleanliness and maintenance: Begin every harvest season with a clean machine. Use a pressure washer to remove caked-on grease, oil, and crop residue, paying particular attention to the engine and engine compartment. Use compressed air to frequently blow off any dry chaff, leaves, and other material on the …

Pumpkin Farming – From Field to Front Porch

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

By Liz Froment for Westfield Insurance Heading out to the local pumpkin patch and picking out a few choice pumpkins for Halloween is a tried-and-true fall activity. But did you know that pumpkin farmers work hard all summer to ensure you’ve got the perfect jack-o-lantern to scare those trick-or-treaters? If you’ve ever been curious how to grow pumpkins, keep reading.  

Protect Wildlife When Trapping Spotted Lanternflies

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

We are starting to see the more and more Spotted Lanternflies everywhere around us. They are invasive and a threat to plants, people, and because of popular trapping methods – wildlife. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture outlines the serious damage the Spotted Lanternfly causes in trees and quality of life, including: Oozing sap Wilting Leaf curling Tree dieback Growth of black sooty mold due to excretion of a sugary substance called honeydew Swarming in the air Honeydew coating decks and play equipment Additionally, the Spotted Lanternfly is a threat to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry. They threaten billions in economic impact and hundreds of thousands of jobs for those in the grapes, apple, hops, and hardwood industries. The pervasiveness of the Spotted …

Open packet of spinach seeds with some scattered in front of envelope.  Extreme shallow depth of field with selective focus on seed in front.

Agriculture Department Warns Consumers to Report Unsolicited, Mislabeled Seeds Received by Mail

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today warned consumers to properly discard and report unordered and mislabeled seeds shipped from overseas. Consumers nationwide have received seeds in packages labeled as jewelry. These seeds may contain plant diseases, weeds or invasive plants that could harm Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry and ecosystem. “Seeds sold in Pennsylvania are rigorously tested to ensure that they are genetically pure and regulated to ensure that what’s on the label is what’s in the package,” Secretary Redding said. “Planting seeds without knowing what they are can wreak havoc with our environment, destroy agricultural crops and incur costly control efforts for years to come.” Seeds labelled as jewelry are likely a scam known as “brushing.” Companies boost online sales by purchasing …

SBA Accepting New Economic Injury Disaster Loan Applications

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

Shared from the Small Business Administration Website: The Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Agricultural businesses include those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries as defined in Section 18(b) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 647(b). The SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing …

Why Dairy Producer Milk Was Going Down The Drain

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

By Courtney E. Meyer, AFIS, Agribusiness Producer Dairy producers were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, their way of doing business was changing by the hour! However, the industry is slowing coming back. Let me explain. The COVID-19 national emergency created a disruption in supply and demand for the dairy industry the beginning of April. As many farmers across the nation were asked to dump milk down the drain, the general public had a hard time understanding why since there were quantity limits on dairy purchases at the store. With schools, coffee shops and other non-essential businesses closing, the milk demand for those businesses decreased significantly. Therefore, milk processors had to figure out a way to repackage these products …

USDA Enhances African Swine Fever Surveillance Efforts

Courtney Meyer Agribusiness, News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF. ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States. Tell me more >>>