Mid-July is normally a quieter time on suckler and beef farms and, as such, there is an opportunity to carry out some maintenance jobs.
Make the most of the drier weather, and slowdown in the daily routine, to tick off a few jobs over the coming weeks.
Some of these tasks are outlined as follows.
1. Fixing land drainage issues
Ground conditions have improved with the current spell of dry, hot weather. This will make it easier to address maintenance jobs on fields.
Where there are issues with drainage that need attending, make these jobs a priority. First off, check to see if the problem is down to soil compaction.
Use a sub-soiler, or sward lifter, to open up soils and let water move downwards and drain faster.
Clean open drains around field boundaries to stop internal field drains from backing up. Finally, repair and dig in new drains as required.
Take the opportunity to repair and replace existing fencing where necessary or install new boundaries on fields where livestock graze.
3. Power wash cattle sheds
Clean out calving sheds and winter housing, before washing out with a power hose. Wash side walls and side panels as well.
Allow sheds to dry, then spread hydrated lime. Clean roof trusses of cobwebs and dust.
4. Altering cattle pens and shed ventilation
Shed maintenance can be never ending, but use the quieter time to make alterations to shed ventilation.
Don’t leave this job for another time, as chances are it will be forgotten about as the workload ramps up again coming into the autumn.
Replace side sheets of tin with space boarding or possibly leave open gaps to increase air inlets. Alter the air outlet at the ridge of the roof if needed.
Also, replace or rehang gates that are difficult to open and close and alter feed barriers to the correct height and spacings to suit certain cattle groups.
5. General shed and yard maintenance
Other tasks to consider include general maintenance, such as upgrading internal and external lights in sheds, painting exposed metal work and timber and cleaning out spoutings.