By Aerica Bjurstrom
Winter is a great time to do maintenance of farm machinery, and one item that should be on your list is to install rollover protection on your tractors. Did you know tractor rollovers are the leading cause of farm-related deaths? That's why it's so important that each tractor have a rollover protective structure (ROPS).
A ROPS, when used with a seatbelt, is 99 percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn. More than half the tractors in Wisconsin do not have this protection.
The Wisconsin ROPS Rebate Program reimburses owners up to 70 percent (maximum of $865) toward the total cost of purchasing, shipping and installing individual ROPS.
Wisconsin resident tractor owners, both full-and part-time farmers, can apply for a ROPS via the hotline, 1-877-767-7748 (1-877-ROPSR4U), or the Web site, www.ropsr4u.com. You will receive information on ROPS options for your tractor, costs, and sources. Contact the ROPs rebate program when you are ready to make your purchase and they will give you instructions on how to get your rebate.
The program is run by the National Farm Medicine Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, and is made possible through philanthropic support from the Auction of Champions. More than 180 ROPS have been installed since 2013.
For more information call Dr. Barbara Marlenga at the National Farm Medicine Center, 715-389-1519. Or you can contact me at the Kewaunee County UW-Extension Office at 388-7138.