If you are a farm owner or maintain your own homestead, it is essential that you get to work “winterizing” your property and livestock if you haven’t already. Winter is here, and if you’re new to this industry, there are a number of steps you’ll need to complete to keep things running smoothly.
Here is an actionable checklist to follow.
Items to Prepare Your Garden:
ü Pick up all equipment from the garden, including those needed for irrigation, clean them up and store them away. If you do not do this, odd parts may get stuck in the snow blower.
ü Construct snow fences in the areas that you want to protect from the worst of the drifts.
ü Go ahead and sow “cover crops” like oats to ensure that the soil is not exposed to the onslaught of ice.
ü It is also a good idea to get your soil tested for necessary minerals and trace elements so that you can add the compounds needed to regain nutrient balance for the busy seasons ahead.
Items to Prepare Your Equipment:
ü Have the shovels and salt ready.
ü Winterize your tractors by checking the battery, the filters and the level of anti-freeze.
ü Check and change tires as needed. You don’t want to stay stuck with a flat during precarious and unpredictable winters.
Items to Prepare Livestock:
ü Clean drinking water for your livestock is essential. This is one of the first things to handle. Maintain a supply that will not require frequent replenishment.
ü Ensure that your livestock is fully immunized.
ü Buy enough bedding and feed taking into account adjusted rations for the winter months.
ü Conduct repairs in the barns. Change the curtains; plug in any gaps from where the chill can creep in, clean fan blades and set-up adequate ventilation.
ü Buy and stock calf coats and calf supplies, especially if you are expecting births in the cold.
Though it is late in the season to get started, it’s always a good idea to double check your own process and make sure you’re not forgetting any steps. Now’s the time to make any last adjustments before the big freeze sets in.