At a crossroad

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The problem. In 2006, Stark County farmer Jerry Dickerhoof planted corn in a field at the intersection of Kenmore Street and Parks Avenue.
As the corn got taller, it became harder and harder for drivers at the stop sign on Parks Avenue to see traffic on Kenmore. Since vehicles on Kenmore don’t have a stop sign, the intersection became a dangerous place for drivers.
“You almost had to be right out in that intersection to see if there was traffic coming,” Dickerhoof said.
It’s not a busy crossroad, but the farmer didn’t want his crop to be the cause of any problems.
“It only takes one accident to kill somebody or seriously injure somebody,” he said.
For the next year, Dickerhoof mulled over what he could do to protect drivers and still get the most from his land.

The solution. At first, Dickerhoof thought simply not planting anything at that northwest corner of the intersection would fix the problem. But he decided that still wouldn’t give drivers enough visibility.
Then, one afternoon during planting season, the idea hit him. Dickerhoof was planting corn when he saw his son coming down the road with the no-till drill.
The farmer grabbed his cell phone and made a quick call: Hey, come over here and plant two strips of soybeans right by that stop sign.

The result. The patch of soybeans – about 30 feet wide and 300 feet long – allowed drivers plenty of visibility throughout the summer.
The beans don’t get tall enough to present a problem and Dickerhoof was able to keep his field in its rotation.
Now, the farmer feels much better about the cars passing by his fields. And the best part is that his solution was simple.
“It wasn’t that big of a deal to plant soybeans in there,” he said.

About the Author

Former reporter Janelle Skrinjar wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2005 to 2009. More Stories by Janelle Skrinjar

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