Heat creates dangers for farmers at harvest time

LINCOLN, Neb. — Midwest farmers have begun harvesting their crops amid dry conditions that have sparked fires across thousands of acres of pasture and cropland.

The National Weather Service has issued “red flag warnings” for firefighters and land management agents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, western Missouri, eastern Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. The warning indicates a heightened fire danger in those regions.

Denny Gorton, president of the South Dakota Firefighters Association, says it’s unusual to have so many fires burning.

Regardless of the conditions, farmers have little choice but to begin harvesting when their corn, soybeans or other crops are ready.

Farmers like Bruce Rowher, who grows corn and soybeans in northwest Iowa, says he makes sure to keep a fire extinguisher, water and shovel on his combine.

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