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My experience farming during winter

My experience farming during winter
My experience farming during winter

Winter is good for the world around us.  Many plants need shorter days and low temperatures to stay calm.  In this way, plants can store energy for new growth.  If the fruit tree does not have enough time to cool down, it will give fewer weak buds.

  Winter is good for people too.  Studies show that people can think more clearly at low temperatures.  People sleep better in winter, because when people go to bed, their body temperature drops.  Although it can take up to two hours in summer, it takes much less time in winter.  But perhaps the most important reason why we need winter is how the Earth is tilted.  This means that somewhere there must be winter, so that somewhere else there will be summer!

  As a farmer, there is nothing worse than when the main water supply freezes when the temperature drops.  This can be difficult, but there are certain steps to retain water, such as using insulating products or using a water pump to keep the water moving in the hope that it will not freeze.

My Greatest Challenge

  We know what difficulties winter can bring to the agricultural and farming community.  With the possibility of lowering the temperature at any moment, not to mention ice, snow and prolonged periods of rain, we must always be prepared to ensure that the vital tasks we have to perform daily are still performed.  In addition, we must make sure that our crops and livestock are well-groomed and safe, regardless of the weather.

  Farmers find ways to grow vegetables in the cold months, and do so with large unheated barns, heated greenhouses or small “low tunnels.”  These designs provide farmers with an attractive environment, protected from snow, frost, wind and excessive rain, and allow the manufacturer to control humidity, humidity and temperature.

  Winter offers a different but still busy schedule for Illinois farmers.  When the harvest is not growing, in winter farmers spend time repairing and changing the oil in the tractors.  They sell crops and revise forecasts.  They focus heavily on accounting and tax planning.  They attend meetings to learn about improved production methods, current issues, marketing strategies or new ideas.

Dealing With So Much Rain

   Those rain clouds that sit on top of a hill don’t just sit there; they usually create a constant light rain with periodic showers.  So much constant rain made a lot more moisture than I expected!  The lower part of the farm quickly became so swampy that the harvest began to struggle.  Their growth has slowed down due to the cold and has slowed down even more because their roots are constantly in excess water.

How I Managed To Cope

  1. I started with soil preparation

  High-quality and healthy soil is the basis of successful farm management.  Using the best methods of soil preparation, farmers can make sure that they have well-prepared soil that fights weeds, processes plant nutrients, provides a soft mass for sowing and a suitable surface for seeds. 

  • Then fertilization

  To improve the microbiological activity of the soil, it is recommended to apply fertilizers with manure.  In conventional production, farmers should apply manure every 3-5 years to improve soil properties and humus levels.  The best practice is to apply manure first and then add mineral fertilizers during tillage.  One part of mineral fertilizers is added before sowing, and the other part – after germination, during the harvest.

  • It’s time to scatter

  Sowing is the final phase before the start of a new harvest cycle.  The final preparatory practice, which creates a direct, granular, structural and wet seed layer, is pre-sowing plowing.  It can be combined with fertilization.  After completing the soil preparation, the farmer must determine the density of the canopy.  It depends on the type of soil, culture and purpose of sowing a particular crop.  After all the preparatory work on the farm is completed, you can start sowing.

  My Survival Tips

  Winter can be a relief for many farmers who welcome much-needed rest after a long growing season, but it can also be a difficult time.  Low temperatures, snow, sleet, and ice can damage your land, homes, outbuildings, and animals, and make you feel isolated from the rest of your community.  However, not everything should be lost in the cold season.  Here are some ways to survive the spring thaw.

  1. I had to cover plants and use cover crops

  You may be surprised to see how long your autumn garden can stand there with a small coverage of rows.  This material is designed to keep the cold from the plants and keep the heat around them, and it comes in different thicknesses.  In really cold periods, place the row spacing directly on the plants and then another area on the hoop for double protection.

  Parts of your garden that do not have edible crops to harvest should have crops that nourish the soil.  Cover crops cover the soil and provide the root system of microbiology under the surface for the production and retention of nutrients.  Bare, moist soil loses soil nutrition in winter, but cover crops keep the soil alive and healthy until spring.

  • I tried my best to avoid ice water

  Water retention from freezing is one of the biggest and most important problems in cattle overwintering.  The animal needs a lot of water in winter; not enough snow.  Fortunately, many available devices can help relieve this problem from your shoulders – some float, some heat the tank itself, and others circulate in the water like a stream.

  If access to electricity is a problem, you can use some tricks: for example, larger tanks have more heat mass, and thus water will retain more of its own heat.  You can also insulate the tank or place it in a barn sheltered from the wind while the animals can get into it.

  • Blocking the wind helps

  Most cattle can withstand fairly low temperatures; it’s a wind they can’t handle.  Whether you rotate your livestock or not, provide wind breaks during cold temperature changes.  Plant thick edges of trees along the fence or use physical obstacles, such as barns or gates, so that your animals can get out of the wind.

  • Did I mention providing a dry shelter?

  As the saying goes, “a goat can get wet, or a goat can get cold.  But the goat should not be wet and cold.  Or in other words: livestock needs a dry place.  It does not have to be indoors;  hay is well suited for bedding.  They should be available to them when it rains before the storm.

  However, it is also nice to have some form of shelter to keep the rain away from your animals.  There are many sad stories that farmers find their livestock frozen to the ground after ice storms, but this can be avoided.  The shelter can simply match the size of the herd, such as a mobile shelter, which in summer can be like a shade, or it can be a small barn.  Many farmers also turn to fabric constructions as cheap alternatives to sheds; imagine a large greenhouse with a white plastic coating.

  • Also had to grow hardy breeds

  As in almost all sectors of agriculture, the best way to avoid livestock problems in winter is to breed or buy more hardy animals.  Breeding will require observation of which animals grow the best fur and lose the least condition after the harshest times.  For purchasing, this may simply involve purchasing stronger animal stocks.  However, always remember: you can move cattle north and west, but never move them south and east – this means that if you want a more hardy cow, do not go too far north to get it, or it may be summer where you will have problems.  Focus on genetics, not location.

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