Farm SafelyThe team at Specialty Hybrids cares about your safety on and off the field. That's why we launched Farm Safely, a community initiative advocating safe practices on the farm and in the lives of farm families. Planting is a good time to review safety practices. We want to help you come home safely to your family every day.


To prevent injuries, it is important you are armed with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and take caution when working with chemicals.
  • Remember to wear: safety glasses, safety-toe footwear, work gloves, hearing protection and hardhats, as well as high-visibility clothing when needed.
  • Always read the operator's manual and warning decals.
  • Make sure everyone who uses the equipment has been trained and is physically able to operate it.
  • If using any pesticide or treated seed, follow label precautions such as wearing impervious gloves, goggles, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Prepare a decontamination kit in case contact is made with chemicals; include in it: gloves, clean wash water, soap and clean coveralls.
  • Always maintain three points of contact when getting on and off equipment.


Before you operate your tractor or planter, inspect equipment. Always check your owner's manual for details and instructions.


  • The tractor should be properly serviced: Check lubrication, fuel and water, and the radiator level (when the tractor is cold).
  • The tractor should never be refueled while the engine is running. To reduce static electricity, the tractor should be grounded with a ground wire or by dropping mounted equipment.
  • The tractor should be fueled outside as exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide. Fuel should be stored at least 40 feet from any building.
  • Keep small children away from tractors. Tractors are designed to carry only one person – the driver.
  • You should turn off engines, remove keys and wait for all moving parts to stop before dismounting equipment.
  • All tractors with a horsepower greater than 20 must have roll-over protective structures (ROPS), a 5-lb. ABC fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, an operator 18 years old or older, and a matched implement.
  • When hitching tractors to implements, proper hardware, adequate jacks, hoists or blocks should be used to position and align equipment.
  • Stay out from under the equipment.
  • Safety locks and catches should be fastened.
  • The tires should be checked for proper inflation, and hydraulics should be free from leaks.


  • Clear the area of other personnel, especially children.
  • The transmission should be placed in neutral, the parking brake set and the engine turned off before dismounting to hookup.
  • The power takeoff (PTO) master shield must be in place at all times. A tubular shaft guard must enclose the stub shaft when PTO is disconnected (and the operator should NEVER wear loose-fitting clothes).
  • A suitable steel pin or punch should be used to align hitch points; NEVER use your finger to probe or verify alignment.
  • All guards should be in place.
  • All safety lights and SMV signs should be checked and in place before moving equipment down roadways.


  • The power source should be disconnected during LOTO.
  • LOTO should be performed when doing maintenance or removing a guard, and in any situation when a body part could come into contact with moving parts.
  • A wood stick can be used to move seed in the box of a conventional planter without LOTO, ONLY if the box is fitted with a mesh screen that does not allow fingers to touch the feeding mechanism.



  • Avoid sharp turns and reduce speed when turning.
  • Avoid driving on steep embankments, near ditches and around holes.
  • Hitch only to a drawbar.

To learn more about how we help our customers be safe and successful, see our agronomy library for additional safety resources.