Spring is just around the corner…the only problem is…I can’t find the corner!
Spring is coming, but for now, it is still winter, and I find people continue to ask my husband (and myself) daily…”So what do farmers do in the winter anyway!?”
So I’m writing today for all you curious people who want that question answered.
Now depending on where you live, what you farm, who you work for, the weather (and other various circumstances) farming will look different. So what we do in the winter is not necessarily how “farmer Bob down the road” spends his winter.
For us, the winter months are a lot more laid back than the rest of the year. This is the time we get a lot of home improvements, and farm repairs are done. Last year, we dug out our basement and remodeled our house. It is a more relaxing time, but we are always ready to jump at an opportunity for work during winter, due to less income coming in. It is also a time we need to remember to be disciplined, and productive even if the weather keeps us home.
Hauling manure to fields, and spreading it on them is what my husband would do all winter if the weather cooperated. Hauling and spreading requires a loader and truck (to haul) and a loader, tractor, and spreader (hooked up to the tractor) to spread on the field. Due to the fact, my husband’s boss has only one loader, my husband will spend many days hauling to a field. Then once he has enough manure at a field he will move the loader over and spread there.
Now for him to do this job it requires perfect weather conditions. If it’s too cold (approx. below 16) he can’t start the Diesel engines. If it has been cold, and then warms up the field will be too soft to travel. If it is icy or foggy he can’t travel the roads in the truck.
So as you can see some days hauling and spreading is a no go. Many times my husband will get up really early (while the ground is still frozen) and spread until the ground gets soft.
My in-laws have a haying business so we spend many winter days helping haul bales to customers. We also have a few cattle that need to be cared for in the winter. We are currently calving which requires waking up every few hours each night to check on the cows.
Other than that we spend the winter repairing vehicles, and equipment, or cleaning shops and work buildings. I enjoy the time we get to spend at home as a family during the winter, but I’m always happy to get busy as soon as spring arrives.
I hope this is the answer you were looking for. Until next time.