The colder months have finally descended upon us!
The transition from Autumn to Winter is one of the most important for us farmers, taking us from the bustling period of harvest, straight through to the down-time of the colder months.
There are a number of risks that are presented to us British farmers during this interesting time and whilst more experienced landholders might consider these tips as rather basic, they might prove to be a life saver to less experienced farmers.
Change those clocks back
Changing the myriad of clocks around your farm back to the right time is a chore but one that is vital to the efficient running of your farm. Leaving just one clock off by one hour could lead to a serious mistake being made by one of your farmers and animals could be hurt as a result.
Task one of your workers with changing all of the clocks on the farm and make sure they’re adjusted to an electronic device that is connected to the internet so that the time is as accurate as possible.
Dig out the thermals
Forgetting to wrap up can make the difference between a productive day out in the fields and one spent shivering in the cabin of your Massey. When our mornings are as early as they are, it’s vital that you and your employees are well wrapped up.
Make sure that your men are aware of the changing seasons and ensure that every one is sufficiently insulated from the cold weather – cold workers don’t work well! If the weather’s really cold then ensure that you have hot drinks on standby to keep morale up.
See to your buildings
Responsible farmers should be aware of the state of their buildings, but it can often be easy to overlook the cracks that start to form over the years. Before Winter properly sets in, you should make sure that you’re aware of any developing maintenance issues with your building.
It’s vital that you get any essential maintenance jobs done to your farm buildings before the true Winter freezes set in, the cold weather is guaranteed to make any of these much worse.
Have a stock of food at the ready
Winter brings with it more than just chilly temperatures. Cold snaps, fog, heavy rain and winds also rear their ugly heads during the Winter months which can easily cut off isolated or rural locations. If you’re looking after livestock then it’s a good idea to always have a stock of emergency supplies on hand, in case you’re cut off from your supplier.
Rotate your emergency stock into your general feed, so that you always have a week’s supply in hand and none of it goes to waste.
Attend to your fences and posts
One of the most vital checks you need to make before the Winter truly hits is a perimeter check of all your fences, posts and gates. The upcoming freezes will always find a way of shaking loose any vulnerable sections, so it’s best to get these things fixed sooner rather than later.
Latches, locks and hinges all deteriorate over time, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any suspect components – before you’re made to rue any gaps!