Welcome to the ACRE

The Agronomy Center for Research and Education, ACRE, is an outdoor laboratory for Purdue Agriculture. Used for field research and hands-on teaching, the 1,135 acre farm is a busy place with faculty, staff, student, and visitor activity. I am Jim Beaty. I have been Superintendent of the ACRE since 1986. With my four full time staff members, part time help, and student employees we are responsible for operating the research farm. About 53 university researchers conduct projects here at the ACRE. I plan to write about our research, visitors, and farm safety thoughts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 49

Cold weather sample processing at the ACRE can be challenging. Plant threshers or corn shellers can create dust. On a very cold day, in a closed barn or building this creates a dilemma as the air gets dusty and is miserable to inhale or the exhaust fans discharge so much air that the heating system can not keep up. If supplemental heat is required, it is critical that it be provided in a safe way. Always follow the owner’s manual precautions when using supplemental heat. If in doubt, then ask for a qualified opinion from a Purdue Fire Protection expert. They know the rules for safety. Additionally, it is critical that all shelling dust and plant material be cleaned from the area, especially on or around the heat source. Remember that this dust is not only combustible but when air borne can become explosive at the correct mixture and the supplemental heat source can be the ignition source. So think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

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