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Farmer killed after being dragged by his own plow

Farming is one of the most dangerous professions in the country.
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A farmer in west-central Minnesota was killed after being dragged by his own plow.

The tragedy happened at 7:40 a.m. Sunday in rural Douglas County, where emergency services responded to a report of a farm accident.

They found the victim dead in the field, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

He had been chisel plowing and was driven over by the plow and dragged, with the tractor pulling the plow eventually getting stuck in the ditch.

The farmer had been working alone in the field and is thought to have started plowing the previous night, with police saying he didn't return home that night.

The incident is under investigation.

Chisel plowing typically takes place during the fall. The plow turns over the upper layer of soil while partially burying the previous crops ahead of more tilling operations in the spring, according to UNL Cropwatch.

Farming is dangerous

Incidents like Sunday's are sadly a familiar story in what is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control says that in 2015, there was a rate of 19.2 deaths per 100,000 farmers or farm workers.

Some 401 workers died in farming accidents that year. Tractors overturning is the most common cause of death.

In Minnesota, the Department of Agriculture say farm workers are 800 percent more likely to die on the job than other workers.

The Star Tribune found that two-thirds of the 210 work-related deaths of Minnesota farms between 2003-2013 involved practices that violate federal workplace rules.

It came at a time when state and federal cuts had reduced farm training and safety programs, with the newspaper noting that state and federal regulators rarely visit farms after a fatality.

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