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updated: 9/9/2013 7:24 AM

Harvest time brings increase risk of crashes

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Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Harvest time brings an increased risk of collisions between farm machinery and vehicles on state roadways.

The state Department of Transportation says there were nearly 1,400 crashes involving farm machinery from 2005 to 2012. Twenty-five were fatal collisions and 708 resulted in injuries.

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As farms have gotten bigger, farmers are traveling farther between fields. Washington County dairy farmer Ross Bishop sometimes travels 13 miles on his tractor to reach his crops. He says traveling is especially risky in the morning and late afternoon. Bishop says some drivers are impatient or even angry while they waiting to pass a tractor. Sometimes, Bishop says, he gets the `one finger salute.'

The Journal Sentinel says state agriculture officials have initiated a study group to address issues resulting from farm machinery on roadways, including damage to roads and bridges.

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