You almost smell your crops growing now that the days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer.
It is time to perform certain inspections and maintenance to prepare the farm for this planting season. The last thing you want to do is rush through thoroughly checking your equipment now to enter the field since you can experience issues later when the busy season truly picks up!
To make the most of your time during planting season this spring, Rockford Mutual advises cleaning, inspecting, and testing your equipment now:
1. Cleaning Farm Equipment
It will be challenging to thoroughly examine equipment covered with oil, grime, mud, and dust, which increases the risk of a mechanical fire.
Chaff and other debris that comes into touch with your machinery and is heated could easily catch fire. If your equipment starts to burn while you’re out in the field, it could be very dangerous because you might not have access to the tools necessary to extinguish the fire.
- Check the combine for any potential rodent nests that may have been collected during storage.
- Remove any accumulated grease or oil.
- Remove any debris from housings, decks, and rakes.
- Make a note of any potential problems that may arise along the road.
2. Inspecting Farm Equipment
Ensure all your agricultural mechanization is in excellent operating order before entering the fields. Always put the car in park or neutral with the parking brake applied before working on any machinery. The following is a long list of things to look at:
- Fluids: Check and/or replace the gas, transmission, hydraulic, and coolant fluids, among others. The time is now to stock up on fluids for upcoming maintenance.
- Verify that all nuts and bolts on the equipment are tightly fastened.
- Tires: Tighten lug nuts as you go and check the pressure and tread wear on each tire.
- Brakes – Make necessary manual adjustments to the drives, clutches, and brakes.
- Use the correct safety clips and hitch pins for the weight you want to tow when using hitches.
- Grain platform, skid plates, and cutter bars: Constantly check cutter bars for flexibility and movement. Examine the knife sharpness on the grain platform. Skid plates beneath the grain platform should be checked for damage and replaced as necessary.
- Blades – Sharpen and replace blades as necessary.
- Mirrors – Sit in the driver’s seat and look around for any possible blind spots. Adjust the mirrors to get the best view of nearby objects like fences, structures, and machinery.
- Chains, rubber hoses, belts, and plastic components like fans should all be checked for cracks. Make sure chains are adjusted properly, and belts are tightened adequately. Replace anything that appears worn.
- Batteries: Verify that your battery can maintain a charge.
- Engine and Steering: Start the engine and let it run for at least three minutes at a quick idle after making sure the area is clear. Check the oil, air, and fuel filters to see if they need to be replaced. Moreover, make sure the steering and exhaust systems are working properly by giving them a second look.
- Make sure that all barriers and shields are present and in good functioning order.
3. Testing Farm Equipment
Before going to the fields, don’t forget to check your turn signals, taillights, and headlights. You have the opportunity to make a repair before work gets busy by checking your lights right away. While you might have defective wiring, it only requires changing a faulty bulb.
Verify again that the reflective signs you used for slow-moving vehicles are still there and can be seen from the equipment’s back. Before you even arrive at the field, you don’t want to be pulled over for a broken taillight or a missing sign.
4. Livestock maintenance
The cleaning up of livestock shelters ought to be a top focus in the spring. The livestock can spend some time outside while you thoroughly clean up all the shelters and take care of any necessary repairs to keep their homes dry and sanitary.
Before Spring, it is advisable to ensure all animal immunizations are current because the prime calving and lambing seasons are quickly coming. To maintain healthy and content cattle, each animal should get a health examination from a licensed veterinarian, and any problems should be addressed as soon as you become aware of them.
5. Soil preparation
One of the most important agricultural activities that farms should carry out in the spring is soil preparation for crops and planting. You can correctly assess the nutrient levels in your soil and decide whether more nutrients are required to generate a healthy yield by testing the pH of the soil.
Right now is the best time to cultivate and get the soil ready for sowing. To properly raise the pH of the soil and neutralize it, you could find that you need to apply more lime. Alternatively, you might need to add sulfur if you need to lower the pH of the soil. However, this is less often than earlier in general. The pH level of the soil cannot be known without a test. Without it, you can’t identify issues and alter the soil before planting.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SEO Turnover.