Farm Safety

Farm Safety

Harvest & Plant Safely

Every year an average of 62 men and women working on farms are electrocuted when farm machines touch overhead power lines. Equipment hitting overhead power lines or running into poles are one of our most common outage causes each year in the fall season. 

If equipment gets hung up on a power line, don’t get off of the machine unless there’s fire or other immediate danger. If you touch the ground and the equipment at the same time, you can become a deadly channel for electricity. If you must get off the equipment, jump clear of the vehicle and, keeping your feet close together, hop away. Call Midland Power Cooperative to report the situation at (515) 386-4111. Don’t touch any machine connected to a power line and keep others away until Midland Power disconnects the line.

See something, SAY SOMETHING

An overhead power line is supposed to be at least 18 feet from the ground. If you see a line you think may be hanging lower than 18 feet, please call us right away at (515) 386-4111. 

New equipment? Measure clearance

Make sure you have ample clearance, at least 10 feet, between power lines and your combines, grain augers, pickers, bailers, and front-end loaders. Keep in mind that uneven ground and shifting soil conditions could put you in harm’s way.

Portable grain augers, oversized wagons, combines, and other tall or cumbersome equipment could come in contact with overhead power lines, creating an electrocution threat to those on the ground nearby—as well as the operator if proper steps aren’t taken. Always lower a portable grain auger or elevator before you move it.

Moving or building a grain bin? 

Grain bin clearance

If you are planning to build a new grain bin on your farm (or move an existing bin), please contact Midland Power to help you in making sure it is located a safe distance from overhead power lines. They will provide the assistance you need for a safe environment for those living and working on your property.

Midland Power may refuse service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line that does not provide clearances required by the 2002 National Electric Safety Code and adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board. 

The state of Iowa requires specific clearances for electric lines around grain bins, with different standards for those filled by portable and permanent augers, conveyors and elevators. 

According to the Iowa Electric Safety Code found in Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 199 -- 25.2(3) b.An electric utility may refuse to provide electric service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line which does not provide the clearances required by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)C2-2002 “National Electrical Safety Code,” Rule 234f. This paragraph “b” shall apply only to grain bins loaded by portable augers, conveyors or elevators and built after September 9, 1992, or to grain bins loaded by permanently installed augers, conveyors or elevators built after December 24, 1997. (As adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board)

Midland Power is required by the Iowa Utilities Board to provide this annual notice to farmers, farm lenders, grain bin merchants, and city and county zoning officials. If you have any questions concerning clearance regulations, please call Midland Power at (800) 833-8876.