Now that the National Ploughing Championships is behind us, it won’t be long until winter is upon us.
Heavy rainfall over the past number of days has led to housing to prevent damage on some farms, but hopefully this isn’t the end of the grazing season for these farmers.
In drier areas, farmers’ attentions are focused on completing the autumn grazing planner. But, now is also a good time to get the farmyard winter ready.
Hopefully, conditions will allow for an extended grazing season. Therefore, if cattle are still in the paddocks, sheds should be power-washed and disinfected.
This will eliminate any diseases that may have been present from last year. While carrying out this task, slats in sheds should be inspected for any damage.
The water supply in sheds should be inspected and any leaks at troughs or along piping should be repaired. Any exposed piping should be buried to keep it ‘frost proof’; water troughs should also be emptied and cleaned.
Doors and gates around the yard and in sheds should also be made secure along with feed barriers. All lights – both inside and outside – should be in good working order and any damaged lights or blown bulbs should be changed.
Autumn calving is underway on many beef farms. However, farmers operating spring-calving systems should make sure that calving facilities are up to scratch, albeit if calving is a few months away; calving gates and calving jacks should be in good working order.
Make sure all agitation points are secure. Eve gutters and down-pipes should be repaired or replaced, and blockages should be cleared.
Making a list of jobs or repairs that need to be carried out is a good idea; this will allow nothing to be overlooked. Remember, a more organised farmyard is a safer farmyard for the farmer, the farmer’s family and their livestock.
Machinery which hasn’t been used for a period of time such as shear grabs, grabs and diet feeders should all be serviced and be in good working order.
Carrying out repairs and making the farmyard a safer place to work at the busy time of the year is extremely important; it will help reduce the risk of farm accidents.
September is the ideal month to tidy up the farmyard; slips, trips and falls are the cause of the highest level of non-fatal farm accidents. The principal causes are untidy workplaces and rushing.