Weather and temperatures have become much more winter like over the past week. So before any major frost or freezing conditions occur, take the time to make sure your farm can cope with the worst of winter weather. Outlined are five tips to winter proofing your farm yard.
Think back to previous winters. Are there water pipes or troughs that tend to freeze once temperatures plummet?
If so, then take steps to lag or insulate exposed piping in order to keep water flowing in cold temperatures.
There will be times when a frozen water pipe bursts and your local merchant is closed, leaving you in the lurch.
Therefore, it is always worthwhile buying a few spare parts and fittings just in case pipes do burst. This means repairs can be carried out straight away.
Keeping a few IBC containers in store is also a good idea.
They are extremely handy for storing water in advance of a major freeze.
Make sure tractors and telehandlers used to feed out silage are well serviced. Make sure all lights work, top up antifreeze and ensure batteries are in good working order so that machines start on freezing mornings.
Again, it is worth having a couple of spare batteries or a charger pack in store for those occasions when machines refuse to start.
A good backup generator is money well spent. It may rarely be used, but on those occasions that it is required to power lights, equipment or the dwelling house, you will be glad you made the investment.
Concrete yards are prone to freezing, so a small bunker of rock salt can come in handy when ice is a problem.
Yards on a slope are a major safety risk in freezing conditions, so take steps to improve traction for both machines and anyone walking between sheds.
Clean out spoutings that are overflowing and replace damaged sections. This stops water overflowing across yards, cutting the risk of large ice patches forming during freezing conditions.