As farmers ourselves, we know the struggles that winter can bring across the agricultural and farming community. With the possibility of the temperature dropping at any minute, not to mention ice, snow and prolonged periods of rain, we always have to be on our toes to ensure the vital tasks we need to undertake every day are still possible. On top of this, we need to make sure our crops and livestock are cared for and safe no matter what the weather throws at us.
We know that the experienced farmers who visit us regularly are well versed in preparations for winter, but here’s our rundown of some of the essential steps you can take.
Make Sure the Water Will Flow
As a farmer, there is nothing worse than when an essential water supply freezes over as the temperature falls. It can be difficult but there are steps to keep water flowing, such as using insulating products or using a water pump to keep the water moving in the hope that it won’t freeze.
Despite taking such measures, it’s always wise to make a contingency plan for worst case scenarios. With any problem you may experience, it’s always a good idea to make plans with neighbouring farms as you may be able to help one another.
Perform A Full Service
Before the cold weather sets in it’s a good idea to perform a full review of your farm’s machinery and buildings. By servicing all your vital machinery and vehicles before winter, it’s more likely they will continue to work through tougher conditions.
It’s also a good idea to check the conditions of your outbuildings, ensuring both your animals and equipment are kept safe and secure. For instance, a slightly unsecure roof that gets covered in snow could easily collapse causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Clear Your Access Points
Throughout the winter months, and especially around Christmas, it’s more likely that you’ll be entering and leaving your farm more often. With inclement weather, this could be more difficult, especially if there is an emergency.
Therefore it’s important to make sure all access points to your farm are clear, or are able to be cleared, should there be ice, snowfall or high winds.
Stock Up on Food & Bedding
This point is one that we don’t really need to drive home, but it’s always wise to make contingency plans in these areas. However, there’s a fine line to be drawn between buying enough and buying too much.
It’s always best to buy in enough feed or straw, or have a plan in place should the weather turn or another factor occurs that you hadn’t thought of.