No Downtime for Farmers during Winter
For the agriculture sector, winter is a time to reassess, prepare and fix what was broken during the summer. Land may be covered in snow, but a farmer’s job never ends.
Livestock farmers and ranchers need to take different approaches to care for their livestock during winter. Every farm is set up differently. One farm may house different breeds than another or may have to deal with distinct weather patterns. The winter months require adequate provisions be made for shelter, feed, and water to ensure the health and welfare of stock.
Farmers make decisions based on the best interests of their animals. They make daily decisions about whether it is safe to allow animals outside in adverse weather conditions. They also decide which breeds are best for winter farming, and which types of shelters to build for their animals. Generally, beef cattle are more exposed to the challenges of the cold stress during winter, while milking dairy cows are typically housed indoors and provided with a high energy diet.
Summer droughts can impact winter feed supplies. Overwintered cattle require more metabolizable energy for heat production during the winter to maintain their body temperature. Feed consumption can increase by as much as 30 per cent in winter conditions.
Some farmers grow crops specifically to sell them. These farmers are called “cash crop” farmers. Many livestock farmers grow crops as well. These crops can then be harvested and used to feed the animals on the farm. If production is higher than what the farm requires, excess crops will be sold.
Over the fall crop farmers will haul their crops to buyers or hire trucking companies. Then it is time for paperwork and taxes to be done, research on new crop varieties, track commodity prices, review fertilization rates and field rotation to consider. Running a farm also means operating a garage. Preventative maintenance ensures the busy season goes uninterrupted, where finding time for equipment repairs can be challenging and costly.
Spring is on its Way
Spring will soon be here; farmers will continue to adapt and think of creative ways to solve any issues that may arise. Mother nature is always throwing challenges that for people who aren’t farmers, can be difficult to appreciate.
Keep an eye out for KLONDIKE’s Spring Oil sale from February 13 at participating KLONDIKE dealers. There will be a variety of oils and lubricants for the farming and agriculture industries to help farmers with productivity and efficiency.