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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #56

Spring weather means people will be doing spring cleaning at ACRE facilities. ACRE barns, storage areas, and indoor work spaces can present spring cleaning hazards if dust, mold, or rodent residue is present and left to decompose in the building. Dead mice or other frozen rodents need to cleaned-up before warm temperatures become standard. Some mice feces might harbor the “Hanta” virus, but not too commonly in Indiana. So wearing an appropriate mask in dusty, “mousey smelling” clean-up areas is a wise idea. Rubber “kitchen” gloves are good hand protection too. At any rate cleaning is very important. Dust can be reduced by using a sweeping compound and gently broom cleaning. Keep fresh air in the area. Avoid using a shop vacuum in closed spaces, since it creates very fine dust particles that can be inhaled easily. Bleach and soap can be used to kill germs. Items in storage that are wet should be dried immediately or thrown away to avoid mold growth later. My summary is that cleaning is important, so do it, but protect yourself in doing so. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

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