Spring is almost here and although this is an incredibly busy time of year for most people in the farming community, it’s also a great time to prepare your farm for smooth running in the seasons ahead.
Here’s ten farming tasks that are worth turning your attention to now:
1 Conduct an Inspection
Take a tour of your premises and inspect your borders and fencing, homestead, outbuildings, livestock housing and machinery for signs of wear and tear. Make a list of any maintenance issues or repairs that need to be carried out and prioritise those most pressing.
2 Complete General Maintenance
For major repairs, it’s wise to call in the experts and if your task list includes the repair or servicing of farm machinery, be aware that this can be one of the busiest times of year for agricultural mechanics so make arrangements now.
If you choose to undertake simpler tasks such as clearing gutters or replacing damaged or broken polythene shelters or wire mesh fencing yourself, make sure you have all the equipment and tools necessary to complete the job before making a start. Ordering goods online is the most convenient and often most cost-effective way of getting everything you need.
3 Hedge Cutting
New laws came into effect last year that require you to cut back or trim hedgerows before March 1st or wait until after August 31st, to protect birds during their breeding and rearing season. Cut your hedges now but also prune any climbers or perennials to stimulate new spring growth.
4 Clean Livestock Shelters
With milder temperatures returning, you’ll soon be able to put your livestock back out to pasture and when you do, give any livestock shelters a thorough mucking out.
5 Check Animal Health
As calving and lambing season approaches, make sure your animal’s inoculations are up to date and get their general health checked over by a vet.
6 pH Test Your Soil
Depending on your crop type and the seasonal weather in your region, you may be harvesting and delivering your produce to buyers or cultivating the soil in preparation for sowing. Whatever stage you’re at, this may be a good time to test the pH and nutrient levels of your soil.
7 Ventilate Greenhouses
The weather may be far from tropical but even on cool, sunny days, greenhouse temperatures can rise quickly so protect your plants by ventilating your greenhouses.
8 Tackle the Admin
No-one likes admin but in order for your farm to manage its supplies and costs and turn a profit, it has to be tackled. Whether it’s the annual tax return, the filing of invoices or the renegotiation of contract terms with a supplier, make a brew, settle down and get it done.
9 Try Something New
With sowing season just a few weeks away, this is a great time to review your grain or vegetable crops and consider growing something new. Allocate some space, purchase some seeds and give those green fingers a workout.
10 Take Care of Yourself!
Farming is a marathon, not a sprint and if you want to survive the year ahead then set aside a little time to take care of yourself. Whether that means leaving the farm altogether for a mini-break or just replacing your farm clothing, treat yourself at Chelford Farm Supplies.
You can find all the supplies and equipment you need to prepare your farm for spring and the year ahead over on their website.