Officials say Illinois farmers had the safest season in decades last year, with a dozen farm-related fatalities.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the deaths occurred between July 2012 and June 2013. The 12 deaths were the lowest number since the insurance company Country Financial began tracking the figures in 1978.
About two-thirds of the fatalities involved roadway collisions.
Illinois agriculture officials attribute the low figures to the drought, which meant farmers were spending less time harvesting, driving equipment on roadways and putting grain in bins.
University of Illinois professor Bob Aherin coordinates the school’s Agriculture Safety and Health Program.
He says he’s worried “antsy” farmers will push themselves during this year’s harvest. And that could be dangerous.
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