America would not be where it is today without farmers and ranchers. They grow our food and crops that produce a variety of products that we use daily. According to the Common Ground Alliance, a non-profit organization for the prevention of underground damage, there are around 2 million farmers in the U.S. and 9.5 million acres of land that are used for farming and ranching purposes. With all of this activity taking place, it is important to inform farmers about safe digging protocols, so they can protect themselves and their property. By following these tips, farmers can ensure that they are digging in the safest possible location.
Call your One-Call Center prior to digging
Utility companies or their representatives will be able to locate and instruct farmers where utilities are buried for free. This is beneficial for farmers adding terracing projects or looking to install fence posts, tiling or conduct subsoiling.
Wait the required amount of time
There are state laws that mandate a ‘grace’ period for the utility company to specify the location of the underground utilities. Farmers should take this into consideration when planning work on a particular field or location.
Respect and understand the marks
It is important to know what the various flag or mark colors mean. They can inform farmers about what is located beneath the ground and keep them from striking something dangerous to themselves and their land.
Be careful when digging
Never assume the depth of where utilities may be located underground. Depth can often be skewed because of erosion or grading, or there may be utilities installed parallel to existing utilities.
Remembering these tips will keep farmers safe and their farms prosperous. These points are also beneficial to anyone who is thinking of conducting an outdoor project where digging is required. As always, call 811 prior to beginning any digging-related project.