Kurt Kaser, 63, was moving grain from one silo to another when he was pulled into an auger – a tube with an interior shaped like a screw.
He was forced to cut off his lower leg with a 3in (7.6cm) pen knife and crawl to the nearest phone for help.
The farmer was working alone on his 1,500-acre (607-hectare) property on 19 April when the accident occurred.
'I didn't have no other choice,' Nebraska farmer Kurt Kaser tells me of his life-or-death decision to saw off his leg with a pocket knife when it became stuck in a grain auger – @ABC News – https://t.co/OMscYLqxKR
— Bill Hutchinson (@bill_hutchinson) May 14, 2019
Unable to find his phone to call for help, Mr Kaser watched as the machine tore his foot off and mangled his lower leg as it pulled him further inside.
The farmer then took out his pen knife and cut off what remained of his limb below the knee.
Mr Kaser said he had removed a safety covering at the end of the auger in the winter to make the equipment fit under a grain bin, and told ABC News he was “kind of disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of fixing that thing”.
“But that’s why they call it accidents I guess.”