POSEYVILLE, Ind. — While cruising along the open road this
month, especially in rural areas, don’t be surprised if you suddenly find
yourself driving behind a tractor. Farmers are hard at work planting this year’s
crops and often need to use the roads to get to all their rows.
Mark Seib, a Poseyville farmer and United Soybean Board
director, reminds motorists to be on the lookout when sharing the road this
spring. Nearly 60 percent of highway fatalities occur on rural roads, according
to the Federal Highway Administration.
“We’re trying to get from point A to point B as quickly and
as safely as possible without tying up traffic,” Seib said. “Be especially
careful when approaching a tractor at night because we’re slower moving than
Farming happens to be quite a strong economic driver in
Indiana. In soybeans alone, Hoosier farmers harvested 5.1 million acres in 2013,
amounting to 264 million bushels at a value of $3.3 billion, making it the
fourth-largest soybean-producing state in the country.
These miracle beans have many uses. Poultry and livestock
farmers use almost all of the meal from Indiana soybeans in feed for their
Most soybean oil gets used by the food industry as frying
oil or in baked goods, salad dressings, margarine and more.
Soybean oil can be used to make biodiesel, a renewable
alternative to petroleum diesel that helps drive rural economies.
It also is used in a hardwood plywood product sold at Home
Depot, a line of Sherwin-Williams paint, a wood stain from Rust-Oleum and many
more everyday products.
Farmers maintain a consistent supply of food, feed, fuel and
fiber every year, so return the favor by staying alert on the roads to ensure
farmers’ safety and the safety of others.
Planting season is a crucial time when farmers need to start
out on the right foot. Risk comes with many of the decisions they make, such as
choosing seed varieties, planting date, row spacing and herbicide use.
“Our window of opportunity is very narrow during planting
season because of changing weather patterns, so that’s why you see farmers out
working late at night,” Seib said. “We’re trying to make the next product that
consumers will be using, like the foam in your car seat.”
On top of that, American farmers are increasingly doing more
with less, managing to get more out of every acre they plant.
U.S. soybean yields have increased 53 percent between 1980
and 2012, according to Field to Market data in the U.S. Soybean Export Council
U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol.