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Summer Safety on the farm

Overhead power lines are necessary to deliver electricity to hardworking farmers and ranchers, but those same power lines can also be deadly if not treated with respect. While you need to focus on the field and your machinery, your local electric cooperative urges you to also watch for electrical hazards around the farm or ranch.

Here, your local electric cooperative offers some tips for electrical safety this summer: 


Be safe using irrigation equipment

Irrigation systems are important to farms. However, they carry many risks that farmers should know how to manage. Safe Electricity has the following information for farmers to keep in mind. 

  • Do not raise irrigation pipes into the air near power lines. Look up and be aware of your surroundings. Position irrigation pipes at least 15 feet away from power lines.
  • Remember, water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Do not allow irrigation water nozzles to spray onto power lines. A water stream hitting a power line could energize the entire system.
  • Take some time to survey your surroundings before moving equipment. Always know the location of nearby electrical lines when working with irrigation equipment.
  • Make sure that irrigation system wiring is properly grounded. Before the start of each irrigation season, have a qualified electrician check the pump and wiring.
  • If an irrigation pipe comes into contact with a power line, never try to remove it yourself. Stay away from it and call your local electric cooperative for help.
  • Follow these other tips
  • Regardless of what technology is used on the farm, keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind:
  • Use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines. A driver’s vantage point from the cab may not be sufficient.
  • Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines, at all times, in all directions.
  • Look up and use care when raising any equipment such as ladders, front-end loaders or augers.
  • Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance.
  • Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads.
  • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
  • If a power line is sagging or low, contact your electric cooperative.








If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Northern Plains Electric Cooperative demanding immediate payment or you will be disconnected and asking for your banking or credit card information, hang up.  They may call back again, but DO NOT BE FOOLED!  Northern Plains will never ask for your private financial information over the phone.

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