Is your farm winterized? Do you have a safety checklist or a maintenance schedule? If not, here are some reasons you should.
Farm Maintenance and a Contingency Plan
No one wants to think about the risks associated with managing a farm, its crops, and its livestock. It’s hard work! However, creating a maintenance schedule is an essential part of being prepared and ensuring you don’t lose money, have a machinery breakdown, or hurt yourself. One of the major parts of a contingency plan is having crop insurance. If you aren’t already covered or would like to discuss strategies, make sure to give Wathen Insurance a call at 765-676-9666 so we can discuss your needs.
Farm maintenance also begins by winterizing your farm.
Winterizing Your Farm
Preparing for winter on the farm begins long before the cold weather hits.
- First, get organized. Some farmers find it helpful to create a list of everything that needs to be done before winter. Walk around your farm with a notepad and clipboard and make notes of everything from livestock to equipment to gardens, and more.
- Another part of organizing this to-do list is to figure out which things on that list get first priority. You can list them in order from most time consuming to least. You can list them from most expensive to least. You can list them in order of importance. There really is no way to make a list wrong. The most important part of the process is getting a handle on everything that needs to be winterized.
Categories of Winterization
Now that you have your list, you can break down that list even further.
For Livestock Farmers:
Make sure appropriate housing is prepared for the animals and create a management solution for the cold months. Think of the days that will be short on light, but heavy on snow. Think of freezing rain, snow, and ice, and anything else that might impact your ability to care for the animals daily. This includes making sure the animals always have access to water that isn’t frozen.
Farm maintenance is extra important for your farm critters. Clean and put away tools and equipment. Winterize animal shelters and ensure proper ventilation. And finally, stock up on all supplies you might need in the case of a snow emergency, like extra feed and bedding materials.
For Crops and Farm Maintenance:
Most importantly, maintain your crop insurance policy during the winter months. This is one of the most crucial times of the year to remain safe and secure. Get ready to sow your fall crops at this time (if the timing is appropriate), as well. It’s best if you test your soil in the fall to ensure it’s ready for the cold months ahead.
Also, it’s time to put away all equipment and machinery, like irrigation hoses, or tractors. Clean and put away all your tools for the season. Find all your shovels, ice scrapers, and any other equipment that helps with snow removal and make sure it’s all in working order. Also, now is the time to perform some routine maintenance on farm equipment. Check that your snowblower is ready to go. Also, check vehicles and tractors, and replace any worn or leaking hoses and plugs. One last tip, put your plow on your truck before a snowstorm hits.
The best feeling is knowing you’re prepared, safe, and secure all winter long. Crop insurance and effective farm maintenance allow you to cozy up by the fire and enjoy the cold season ahead.