NEWS RELEASE   October 21, 2022

John Deere urges hay and fodder producers to stay safe this season

image of 540M tractor and baler

Crestmead, Queensland (21 October 2022) — As Australian farmers face another La Nina weather event and narrowing production windows, John Deere urged hay and fodder producers to stop and reflect on safety this National Hay Safe Day on Monday, 25 October.

Launched by national body, Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA), in 2010, John Deere Australia and New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said National Hay Safe Day provided a platform for everyone working in the farm sector to pause and think about safety at every point in fodder production, especially when facing challenging weather conditions.

"National Hay Safe Day provides an opportunity to promote the importance of safe farming practices, and to support the safety and wellbeing of our farmers," Ms Gersekowski said.

"There is an old saying 'make hay while the sun shines', and with the prediction of high rainfall across most production areas, we understand sunny days will be less frequent during the coming season.

"This narrowing window will put pressure on producers to cut as much as they can, when they can – we want to remind those operating to make sure they are still taking the time to stop and consider their safety."

According to Safe Work Australia, in 2018, on average, the agriculture industry ranked second in terms of fatality rate, accounted for the highest number of fatalities over the past five years, and ranked third for the frequency rate of serious claims.

Ms Gersekowski said being safe on, or around, hay production equipment didn't need to be complex and this year wanted to highlight the importance of installing and adjusting knives on machinery.

"Staying safe can be as simple as being aware of your surroundings such as watching out for low hanging electrical cables to avoid electric shocks," she said.

"When it comes to servicing or adjusting the knives on balers, knives must be checked daily, or after 200 bales, whichever comes first."

"On Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters, always disengage all drives, shut off the engine, and wait until all moving parts have stopped, and ensure safety gloves are always worn to handle knives.

"We encourage all machinery owners and operators to regularly refer to the operator's manual to ensure equipment is managed and maintained as safely as possible."

John Deere has an 'always on' approach to safety.

"John Deere is committed to providing equipment and machinery that carries industry-best safety features to support Australia's $2.5 billion hay production industry," she said.

"We invest in ongoing training and education of our dealers to ensure customers are well supported in the safe and effective operation of their hay equipment, and recommend our customers review their Operators' Manual for best practice and safety guidelines.

"National Hay Safe Days reminds us all that safety is non-negotiable in the fodder and broader agriculture sector."

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004

Larissa Mullot
0409 786 890

About John Deere:

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in New Zealand at