The Oban Times - - Farming -

FOR FARM­ERS, win­ter can be the ab­so­lute worst time of year. Tem­per­a­tures drop and winds howl day and night, cut­ting through all they can with their icy sting. Not only that, but mi­nor amounts of sun, pos­si­ble snow and fre­quent frosty morn­ings all have a hand in the deadly game that win­ter plays.

All of these fac­tors put an enor­mous strain on farm­ers, not only mak­ing their work much harder to get done, but also with the risk the weather poses to build­ings, ma­chin­ery, an­i­mals and crops. We have some use­ful tips so that you can fully pre­pare your farm for the creep­ing cold, and our ad­ver­tis­ers are on hand to help make sure you and your farm get through the win­ter safely.

Check all ma­chin­ery

It’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant that any and all of your es­sen­tial ma­chin­ery is in­spected and main­tained where nec­es­sary by a pro­fes­sional. A (lit­er­ally) well- oiled ma­chine can near enough en­sure that any risk of down­time is re­duced, and that your es­sen­tial ma­chin­ery – whether it’s feed­ing ma­chin­ery or crop man­age­ment tools – con­tin­ues to op­er­ate smoothly.

Or­gan­ise back-ups

The in­com­ing cold weather, es­pe­cially any storms or heavy snow­fall we might en­counter, can of­ten play havoc on your power sup­ply, which means that power cuts and com­plete loss of elec­tric­ity are strong pos­si­bil­i­ties. To counter this, a back-up gen­er­a­tor could be the safest op­tion – and, while you might find them ex­pen­sive, they’ll near enough pay for them­selves and more when the power goes out.

Con­tin­u­ous wa­ter flow

The last thing you want is your wa­ter sup­ply freez­ing over. You can im­ple­ment elec­tri­cally-pow­ered ther­mal in­su­la­tion jack­ets for your wa­ter pipes, but if you re­ally want to pre­vent any prob­lems, a con­tin­u­ously flow­ing sup­ply of wa­ter can keep it mov­ing to pre­vent freez­ing.

Iden­tify prob­lem build­ings

In­spect­ing your build­ings is an in­cred­i­bly vi­tal part of main­tain­ing your farm, es­pe­cially in win­ter when the cold can creep in through any cracks and crevices that might have been made. In­spect your build­ings with an agri­cul­tural build­ings ex­pert, and look for any signs of dam­age to the roof­ing, gut­ter­ing, en­trances or any sign of struc­tural weak­ness.

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