Lulls during the growing season are fading faster than a pair of farm-store blue jeans. Yet it’s important to catch up on routine maintenance around your farm. Do it now and you’ll beat the summer heat, plus increase the likelihood of finishing your to-do list.
Sprucing up your farmstead helps your operation — and all of agriculture — make a positive impression. And that’s important. But good upkeep pays off in improved longevity for buildings, equipment and other assets. It also can help ward off weeds, insects, rodents and other pests. Consider these suggestions on how to approach farm maintenance:
Make a list. Start with known issues. Maybe it’s a drooping gutter on the machine shed or a mailbox that needs a fresh coat of paint or a patch of thistles getting out of hand at the edge of a windbreak.
Inspect. Expand your checklist by looking for trouble spots, such as building foundations, a rotted corner post, missing safety shields, signage or gear, or overgrown trees reaching beyond field perimeters and into areas where they could interfere with equipment come harvest time.
Prioritize. Your to-do list might seem daunting. Focus your workload to make it more manageable. Pick off the items that are most critical. Safety issues should top your priorities. Then look for items that could cause the greatest short- or long-term losses and take a preventive approach.
Fix and repair. Time to get to work. Identify projects you or your family or employees can knock out. Some jobs require professionals or might just be handled more efficiently by off-the-farm experts. Know your skill limits and the value of your time.
If farm maintenance already is an annual ritual, you likely will spend more time maintaining and less time repairing. Here are some areas that don’t require much investment dollarwise but can provide a nice return on your time:
- Fresh paint might be the ultimate spruce-up. It looks great, but perhaps more important, it protects against weather and prevents deterioration.
- Weeds in fence lines and field perimeters can host overwintering insects and provide a prolific seed source, making it an ongoing threat to cropland. Volunteer trees, shrubs and other woody plants can ruin expensive fences. A Case IH Scout™ utility vehicle can be an excellent tool for maintaining field perimeters. Work with your Case IH dealer to select the model that best meets your needs, then outfit it with the right spray equipment. But get after those undesirable plants now before maturing crops prevent access.
- Decorative landscaping isn’t just for the house. A landscaped barrier and a few flowering perennials or shrubs around highly visible outbuildings will improve your farmstead’s overall appearance and help hold down weeds. Our lineup of rotary cutters, mowers and other attachments can help you get the job done more efficiently.
- Tall grasses or weeds along roadsides — especially at intersections — pose a serious safety threat. Although roadside maintenance often falls to your state, county or township, some low- or no-maintenance roads might require your attention. Here again, a Case IH rotary cutter or rotary disc mower can help improve safety across the countryside.
Early summer is an excellent time to tackle farmstead maintenance and beautification. The weather usually is right for most tasks. And you’ve got the rest of the season to enjoy the results.