Equipment and tools are valuable to any farming operation. They allow farmers to do jobs easier and quicker and many times, are costly investments.

Recently, they’ve became attractive targets to thieves across the state.

Kenny Perry and Tad Campbell, who are University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agents in Graves and Mason counties, respectively, said thefts of farm equipment and tools have increased in the past 12 to 18 months in their counties. They attribute this to the high price of scrap metal and copper along with a down economy, among other factors.

“Thieves seem to be looking for any kind of a small mechanical device, such as an air compressor, generator or welder, that they can take and quickly sell to whomever,” said Perry, agriculture and natural resources Extension agent.

“During harvest a lot of equipment is left in fields away from a farmer’s home, and that makes it an easy target for folks to come in and get what they can off of it.”

In Mason County, many thefts have been on properties with abandoned homes or absentee owners, said Campbell, agriculture and natural resources Extension agent.