Kandiyohi Co. man airlifted after hand caught in corn picker

Corn pickers are a common cause of farm accidents.
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Ambulance hospital emergency

A west-central Minnesota man has been hospitalized after a Thanksgiving weekend farming accident. 

It happened Friday afternoon in Colfax Township, Kandiyohi County, when the 45-year-old's hand was caught in a corn picker — a large piece of harvesting machinery. 

According to a news release from the local sheriff, the victim, whose name has not been released, was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

The full extent of his injuries and his current condition aren't clear. The victim lives in nearby New London.

Corn pickers, also known as corn harvesters, are a common source of agricultural accidents. 

According to Farm Injury Resource Center, such accidents often occur when the machinery becomes plugged up with corn stalks and workers attempt to free them. Since the rollers that process the stalks rotate at about 12 feet per second, "a farmworker holding a stalk, even at a distance of three feet away from a roller, has less than half a second to let go."

As a result, it's easy for limbs to get caught up in the equipment, and many farm workers have lost fingers, hands and even legs and feet in corn picker accidents. 

According to PennState Extension, such incidents can be avoided by "simply turning off the power to your cornpicker before servicing it in any way."

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