Brace yourself, your livestock and your crops. With potential for frigid temps and deep freezes, your farm could be heavily impacted this winter. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare your farm and get ahead on critical chores. Here’s how to prepare for winter on a farm.
1. Prepare Shelter for Your Animals
It’s imperative that your livestock have a safe and sheltered place on your farm in winter weather. Whether you have poultry, livestock or other critters, make sure there’s enough room in your barn and other shelters for all animals to fit comfortably. Additionally, ensure their access to feed is not located in a space that will get wet or contaminated. Livestock insurance can help cover damages that may occur.
2. Address All Animal Needs
Fix any fences and build or fix any feeders and waterers so that when the cold weather hits, you don’t have to brave the cold for these types of repairs. Also stock up on feed and supplies in case a winter storm affects the supply chain. Now’s the time to clean your hay and feed areas to make room for extra storage. Do the heavy lifting now to protect livestock when winter comes.
3. Store Tools and Other Items
Winter on the farm is the ideal time to perform routine maintenance on equipment and machinery. Your tools and equipment can take a big hit if they’re not properly stored during the winter months. Make room for all the machinery you don’t want left out in the elements. That’ll ensure they’re ready for planting season come spring.
4. Prepare Your Soil
Get your soil the nutrients it needs so that it’ll be primed when spring rolls around. Feed your soil nutrient-rich fertilizers and compost before the first snowfall, which will break down slowly over the course of the next few months. By preparing and testing your soil, you’ll ensure it’s ready for planting come spring.
5. Deep Clean
Prepare for winter on the farm by cleaning out the most important structure, the barn. Remove any items that got stored in there over the past year to make room for the livestock moving in. Give the barn a good inspection inside and out, foundation to roof, to spot any repairs you can make before the weather changes. Be mindful of the floors — scrape out any waste and add a layer of sawdust, hay or wood chips to start fresh.
6. Break Out Your Cold Weather Gear
Even when it’s winter on the farm, the work never stops. Make sure you’re well-equipped to handle all outdoor situations, whether dealing with leaks in the barn roof or fixing the fence on the pasture. You’ll need gloves, scarves, thermal underwear, heavy outerwear and a water-repellent layer to keep you warm and dry during outdoor work in the snow and frigid temps.
Evaluate Your Insurance Needs
Life changes fast. Do you have your farm equipment properly insured? No one understands farming needs like Farm Bureau. We know that every farm is different, which is why we can customize coverage for every operation. Visit with a Farm Bureau agent today.