Archive for February, 2012

Stay Safe During Winter

We know it may not be winter everywhere right now but please keep these tips in mind during the winter months. Winter brings with it special cold-related problems on the farm. Many activities, such as feeding the cattle and plowing the farm yard must take place no matter what the temperature reads. Farmers must take special precautions so the cold temperatures don’t take their toll.

There are several things you can do to prevent injuries caused by cold weather.

  • Wear warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing, preferably wool. Also, wear water repellent outer garments.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves. Mittens allow your fingers to remain in contact with each other, enabling your hands to stay warmer.
  • Cover head and ears. The head, neck, and ears lose heat faster than any other part of the body.
  • Stay dry.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol actually causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Watch for frostbite and other signs of hypothermia.

If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, it’s important to:

  • Seek immediate shelter in a warm place if you can’t stop shivering, notice numbness, or become disoriented.
  • Handle any frostbitten area gently. Don’t rub it.
  • Remove cold, wet, and restricting clothing and replace with dry items.
  • Warm the body gradually, not by a stove or fire.
  • Contact your local emergency medical services for help with frostbite or hypothermia.

Farm children are at risk whether they are helping out with the chores on the farm on a cold day or just enjoying the many adventures that might exist on a sunny, but bitterly cold day. Snowmobiling, sledding, or just having a snowball fight with grandpa, could be dangerous. Common sense is key. Children may not be able to identify the signals of danger. Help them stay safe by monitoring their actions frequently. Winter can be a beautiful and fun time of the year to enjoy the farm, if precautions are taken to prevent the cold from endangering those who are experiencing its glory.

For more information on farm safety, visit

What do you do to stay safe in the winter? 

*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids


Massey Ferguson Sponsors Oxford Farming Conference Report

Europe should not underestimate its role as an agricultural powerhouse, but it needs to focus on areas of weakness including access to natural resources, according to a unique report into where global agricultural power lies commissioned by the Oxford Farming Conference, sponsored by Massey Ferguson.

“Europe currently ranks respectably for political, corporate and trade power but is vulnerable in the long-term to the availability and control over natural and mineral resources,” Oxford Farming Conference chairman Cedric Porter said.

“If the European Union is to continue to punch above its weight on the global agricultural stage it will need to strengthen output – it is vital for farming and for our future food security. The report shows us that Europe as a whole still retains historical influence in global agriculture, but with exporting nations such as China, Russia and Brazil coming up the ranks, the food and farming industry will need to act with policy to retain our strong position.”

“The whole of the food industry also needs to ensure that the relationship between corporations and farmers is a successful and balanced one. Europe, and in particular the UK, has a disproportionate concentration of large trans-national corporations (TNCs) based here which in global terms can be seen as a positive since those organisations are powerful when it comes to decisions that affect agriculture and food. But while that, continues to give international influence, it does not necessarily translate into an improved position for our farmers or the agri-food supply chain.”

Who’s in control of the supply chain?

  • Four companies account for between 75% and 90% of the global grain trade
  • 10 companies are responsible for over 40% of the global retail market
  • Seven companies control virtually all fertiliser supply
  • Five companies share 68% of the world’s agrochemical market
  • Three companies control almost 50% of the seed market

Commenting on the report, Richard Markwell said: “Massey Ferguson is well-poised to help meet the challenges facing European farmers, given the company’s mission to provide straightforward, dependable machines designed to help farmers cut costs and maximise productivity.”

The report, written by the Scottish Agricultural College, pulls together a vast array of recent research into an unrivalled and uniquely authoritative document which the OFC hopes will be used by farmers and interested groups to lobby in order to keep the Europe at the top table.

To view a video of the Oxford Farming Conference, click here:

For a full copy of the paper, click here:

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