By Albert Makendenge
In a couple of months or so average temperatures across the country will start to drop as we head into the winter season. These bitter cold temperatures can be harsh on farms or farmers but with a little planning up front, one can get into this period with peace of mind and no worries whatsoever. It is only when one has an established plan that they will feel confident and ready to take on the cold season. Below is what could potentially be on a typical farmer winter preparation plan.
- Stocking up on supplies
It is always hard to go out in search for inputs and materials especially on cold, rainy and windy days which in most cases leave one shut in or at least make the searching or buying experience a very rough one. Therefore it is always best to do this ahead of time and quickly make for the availability of resources/equipment that will make an easy winter ride.
- Maintenance and repairs
During the winter season, maintaining cleanliness and healthy living standards for the farm and livestock in particular will be very difficult. Farmers must be sure to complete a thorough overhaul and deep clean every area prior to the cold season in order to ease the burden of keeping order intact.
- Preparing livestock
Just the same way one takes care of themselves, they should also take care to protect livestock. Animals can become anxious and distressed during the cold winter months, just like humans. Hence, it is very important to keep them as comfortable as possible so that they can adapt to the season and remain calm.
- Feeding the soil
Preparing for winter ploughing should also be done well in advance. Before the very first frost all debris should be removed from the fields or beds. Get rids of all weeds and clutter from the area that will be replanted in the winter or in the next agricultural season. This is also the time for tilling and fertilizing the land which is going to be used for agricultural activities in winter.
- Cover crops
Cover crops (which are fast growing plants that are often used to improve soil quality during winter months) is also another option to keep the soil alive and well throughout the winter. The soil will have the time to get fertilized and prepared for the new season to come.