The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) has increased the amount of the rebate available to New York growers who retrofit their tractors with a rollover protection structure (ROPS) kit from the maximum of $600 last year to $703 for 2008. This amount matches the average increase in cost of ROPS kits from manufacturers in the past year.
Tractor rollovers are a significant cause of injury and death to growers and their family members. In fact, rollover fatality rates in the Northeast are the highest in the country. Studies have shown that the use of a roll bar in combination with a seat belt could prevent virtually all of these tractor rollover deaths, yet half the tractors in New York state are unprotected.
In the past year, NYCAMH’s ROPS program has facilitated the retrofitting of more than 350 tractors. The program is supported by state Senators James L. Seward and Catharine M. Young, both members of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, as well as Farm Family Insurance, the New York Farm Bureau, and the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association. It represents a pioneering effort to prevent fatalities and disabling injuries due to tractor roll overs, the leading cause of occupational deaths in farming.
“Our goal is to keep ROPS as accessible to farmers in the coming year as they were last year. To do this, we had to adjust for the increases in prices,” says John May, director of NYCAMH. “Two of the most important aspects of the program are keeping ROPS affordable and retrofitting easy for New York farmers. Spring brings a combination of many farmers in the field and soft ground, a potential recipe for a rollover. If your tractor is not yet protected, now is the time to order a ROPS kit.”
For many growers, the price of retrofitting a tractor after rebate has been about $250. Growers interested in retrofitting a tractor should call 877-ROPS-R4U.