Demolishing the Myths of Hay Fever for Agricultural Workers | Agriculture

Some agricultural workers who have experienced the misery that hay fever can bring on, have complained bitterly that they are somehow seen as being ‘wimps’ and ‘malingerers’.They also go on to say that people living in urban environments get lots of sympathy when they suffer with these conditions but somehow farm workers are assumed to be immune due to their exposure to Mother Nature on a day-to-day basis.So, what’s the reality?Agricultural workers are real peopleIt is a complete myth that people engaged in agricultural work don’t suffer from allergies.True, some studies appear to indicate that things such as hay fever are rather more prominent in urban as opposed to rural populations. Even so, that’s not the same thing as saying that people driving agricultural machinery or otherwise working on farms don’t get blocked up.The causesThere are a range of afflictions that we generically call hay fever, usually resulting in things such as blocked noses, sneezing, catarrh, red weepy eyes and so on.


Often confused with the viruses and bacteria that may cause other sorts of infections and associated symptoms, hay fever allergies usually arise because of the body’s immune system over-reacting to the presence of tiny particles known as allergens.Hay fever is in fact caused by many different sorts of allergens including things such as pollen, harvest dust or even various types of foodstuffs. In many if not most cases, in spite of what we call it, the allergy is nothing to do with hay itself.When can you get it?The assumption that these allergies can only affect people in the spring and early summer when the pollen count is high is something else that can annoy people operating agricultural machinery etc.In fact, various late-flowering plants or even the higher quantities of harvest dust that can be in the air towards the end of the season can also be major causes.Obviously, if your allergies relate to sensitivities to certain types of foodstuffs, then they may not be seasonally related at all.So, the next time you see an agricultural worker complaining of allergies at the end of the season don’t assume they are making it up!What can you do about it?For agricultural workers using tractors and agricultural equipment, this can be a major problem.Some over-the-counter prophylactic medicines shouldn’t really be used in conjunction with operating heavy machinery. While people in the cities can, at least to some extent, remove themselves from the source of some of their allergies, people working on farms may find that rather more difficult to achieve.Leaving aside things such as filtration and masks, the only real solution is to contact a doctor and ask for appropriate products that will be suitable for use when operating machinery.


Are increases in allergies just to do with more publicity?Most informed medical sources agree that in the western world, allergies are on the increase and substantially so.There is no clear evidence or even agreement between the experts though as to what is driving this.Some argue it is to do with lifestyle and modern products whilst others, possibly slightly cynically, claim that today we are more inclined to complain about such things and talk to our doctors about them than our parents and grandparents would have been. They then go on to suggest that the perceptions of escalating prevalence are therefore exaggerated.In terms of this debate, you’ll need to make your own mind up! What is clear though is that agricultural workers are likely to be included in those rising curves of people reporting allergic sensitivities and ‘hay fever’.

The Yin and Yang of Agricultural Financing | Agriculture

There are a lot of factors that are taken into account before any financial institution will grant an agricultural loan. Some are obviously going to be based on the general health of the economy, but they are also interested in your credit rating, lending history and all that goes into that. It’s important to make sure that you keep a good rating and loan history. Lending institutions need customers as much as you need a loan. That is an important thing to remember!PROPER RISK ASSESSMENT
Have a professional business proposal done BEFORE approaching a lending source. It is the easiest way to put your best foot forward. Make sure it details every possible benefit and positive that the loaned amounts will implement and provide. Have it minimize as many risks as possible. Many new to securing agriculture loans fail to recognize the big gamble that lending institutes take in regards to possible loss of crops and livestock due to natural disasters, such as tornadoes, drought, fire, flood, etc. You can minimize this by showing proof of adequate amounts of crop insurance. It will make them much more comfortable about lending to you.


ACCUMULATED WEALTH VS. PROFITS
Many of the mistakes made by farmers in the 1980′s had to do with the complete personal disregard of the separation that should exist between accumulated wealth and profits. Many borrowed based on everything they had of value. This means when the agricultural economy tanked, which it did, they lost everything. This a huge red flag. Never borrow and use things as collateral that you can’t afford to live without. This is simply a method of digging your own financial grave. Be sensible.DANGERS OF STAYING IN THE RED
If you find yourself always having to readjust payments on things and never have periods in the black, financially, then you are most likely already over-extended. At this point, rather than taking out new loans, it might be more prudent to try and get existing loans refinanced and begin paying down debt. It might be worth getting some sound financial management advice to start on a road to less debt and more equity. You’ll never feel like you are making any progress if you are having to constantly borrow to cover previous financing. It can become a cycle that is hard to break free from.


BALANCE IS KEY
Balancing what you owe and what you own is critical for all businesses. Having debt is not necessarily a bad thing. When the debt heavily outweighs what backs it, then you have a serious issue. It won’t be fully understood unless the notes come due and you can’t pay them. At that point you risk having to file bankruptcy, or even deal with a foreclosure and loss of your agriculture business.