ARE YOU READY FOR A SEVERE WINTER?
With weather forecasters already predicting another severe winter, we look at ways in which your farming business can prepare for the severe weather, and identify any risks:
Access to Livestock
- With remote areas at risk of being cut off by heavy snow fall or flooding, identify safer areas to locate stock in the event of a bad forecast.
- Prepare contingencies to clear snow with machinery or local equipment sharing.
- Ensure stocks of salt and grit are sufficient to keep vital access points clear.
Feed and Bedding
- Ensure you have adequate feed supplies in stock, or considered how you will maintain stocks during severe weather and possible transport disruption.
- Consider keeping feed stocks in strategic locations for outlying land.
- Keep sufficient stocks of bedding, with as much straw under cover.
Machinery and Power
- Keep all machinery servicing up to date, including feeding machinery.
- Make plans for a backup feeding system.
- Protect tractor fuel from frost or snow protection.
- Keep adequate stocks of fuel oil and heating oil – do you have sufficient storage capacity?
- Make plans for emergency fuel stocks if bad weather is forecast.
- Locate and service generators in preparation for emergencies.
- Identify alternative or additional housing options to house stock in severe weather.
- Identify buildings which may be vulnerable from heavy snow fall or storms – beware of roof collapse if deep snow falls on farm buildings.
- If clearing snow from buildings, beware of the danger of creating unequal loading of the roof structure and risks of collapse.
- Prevent water supplies from freezing.
- Plan arrangements for alternative water sources, such as water bowsers.
- Empty slurry stores in preparation for winter and ensure sufficient storage capacity is on the farm.
- Prevent all surface water or rainwater from entering slurry tanks or stores.
- Review your insurance and ensure adequate cover is in place for severe weather or storm damage.
- Plan with your neighbouring farmers – share snow clearing machinery or spare empty buildings.