Ag experts, wildlife officers urge drivers to be wary on roadways

MILAN, Tenn. — During this time of year, there’s a few things you want to be aware of as you travel down the roadways. You may have seen a cotton picker or some other type of farm equipment on the road. Some people may try to pass it, but it’s important to be careful when doing so.

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 1.23.13 PM“As our farmers have gotten larger, their acres are spread out and equipment’s gotten bigger, and that presents some challenges as they’re moving their harvesting equipment up and down the road,” said Blake Brown, director of agriculture research and education at Milan.

Brown said farming is a dangerous job and moving equipment on roadways is the most dangerous part. He let WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News get a closer look from inside the cotton picker to get a better understanding of what farmers see.

“You can see sitting up here just how wide and how hard it is to see, but it’s a lot to watch and a lot to see as you go down the road,” Brown said.

Brown said the roads are about 14 feet wide, and farming vehicles can easily surpass that width.

“A lot of the cotton pickers — most of them — are six rows wide, so they’re going to be 20-plus feet wide,” Brown said.

While it’s important to watch out for large farming vehicles, like a cotton picker, it’s equally as important to watch out for animals in the road.

“This is the highest time we’ve had incidents with cars and deer is during the rut or the mating season,” wildlife officer Chuck Casey said.

Casey says drivers should be aware of deer at night as well as throughout the day.

“Usually, if you see one you’re going to see another one,” Casey said.

As always, authorities recommend maintaining the proper speed limit to be safe. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says to be on the lookout for deer in the road until at least February.

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