What Farmers Do Come Winter
The harvest is over and all the crops are in. That means it’s time for farmers to kick back and take a much-needed winter vacation, right? Not exactly. Winter is a slower time for many crop farmers, but there is work that still needs to get done.
Clean and Fix Equipment
After a busy harvest season, machines and other farm equipment are in need of cleaning and sometimes repair. Farmers may also make improvements to their machines, such as replacing a belt or getting new tires for their tractor. They know the importance of taking care of equipment so that it runs properly when needed. It would be nothing short of a disaster for one of them to break down during the harvest, which is the busiest time of year.
Running a farm may seem like it’s all growing and tending to animals, but it actually requires a good amount of paperwork and business affairs. This time is usually spent going over last years earnings or losses and compiling a budget for the next year. Farmers will also meet with seed agents to determine what they are going to grow in the upcoming year and how much they can expect to pay.
Research and Implement New Ideas
There’s always room for improvement on the farm. Winter gives farmers the perfect opportunity to catch up on new research, new production techniques and new ideas. They can also use this time to evaluate what they did last year and can think of ways it can be done better.
Tend To Livestock
Crops are typically not the only thing a farmer must tend to. Some crop farmers have livestock that require care year round. Cattle and horses need daily feeding, and dairy cows need to be milked no matter the weather. Farmers also have to ensure that the animals have a proper water source even in freezing temperatures. If there is even a thin layer of ice most livestock, especially horses, won’t drink it and risk dehydration.
Clean Up the Fields and Tree Lines
With more time on their hands, they can clean up the fields and manage tree lines. This includes removing dead trees and making sure there aren’t tree branches sticking out into the field that could potentially get caught up in their equipment. If the weather is nice and mild, they may even start prepping the fields to get them ready for spring planting.