Farmers do not have a lot of downtime. They have more than sufficient tasks to keep them busy, from spring plantings, summer raising, and fall harvesting. Even though you would expect them to catch a break during winter, they can be just as busy during the winter. Even during winter they must be working, preparing the soil and their equipment for the coming season, as well as dealing with paperwork. Throw in the potential of keeping animals warm and fed, and the life of a farmer is hardly one for someone who is not prepared for a very busy life.
1) Clean and Maintain The Equipment
Farmers are very busy even in the winter months. Every item must be cleaned, properly maintained, and inspected in order to make sure that they are ready for the coming year. If something is beyond the ability of the farmer to repair, the piece needs to be replaced. This can take a tremendous share of the farmer’s winter, especially considering how much equipment the average farm has, but it ensures that the equipment will work the way it is supposed to, ensuring a safe, profitable year.
2) Preparing the Ground For the Next Season
The ground must also be prepared. While this can be problematic in some areas, it is something that needs to be done. The soil must be tilled, both to properly use the remaining plant material as fertilizer as well as properly aerate the soil. For those who use chemicals to kill pests and fertilize their crops, this is an ideal time to mix those chemicals in with the soil. While some farmers need to hurry, especially those in colder climes where the soil can actually freeze, prepping the soil makes planting go that easier in spring, allowing the farmer to go straight to planting rather than wasting time getting things ready.
3) Catch Up on Paperwork
Most people forget that farms are a business. This means that there is a lot of paperwork involved, from taxes to payroll. For farms that are run as corporations, this can mean that meetings need to be scheduled and dividends paid out. It also means that marketing needs to be dealt with, and that can mean anything from sending flyers out to new markets to making sure that the website is kept up to date. Lastly, budgets need to be made for the next year, allowing for replacements for just about everything. While a lot of the business is taken care of during the rest of the year, winter is when most of the paperwork and planning are done.
With this in mind, some companies do what they can to make sure that farmers can make the most efficient use of their time. With the right equipment, a farmer can ensure that their farm is run as efficiently as possible, and take advantage of every possible minute to grow the best possible crops that they can. There is no real-time to relax on a farm, and so farmers need to take advantage of all the time that they can in order to raise their crops, as you never know for sure when a crop may fail; by using all that they have available, they can help to ensure that every crop will be successful.