Although Spring is here we are still experiencing wintry weather with snow and hazardous conditions forecast for the coming days. It is with this in mind that Teagasc advises farmers to be 'winter-ready' and provides some useful tips for farming during severe weather conditions and advance planning
Severe weather challenges all of us. Activities that we take for granted can become difficult or even hazardous when severe weather occurs. However, by taking some simple steps you can reduce the impact of such events.
Stay Safe - It is important to Stay Safe while out on the farm in severe weather conditions. Ensure someone knows your whereabouts, carrying a charged mobile phone and wearing suitable layers of warm clothing
Livestock - Cattle can cope with low temperatures provided they have plenty of feed. Even young calves are not seriously affected by low temperatures if they have shelter from chilling wind and driving snow/rain. Planning in advance for the provision of feed for animals outdoors and that all stock indoors have access to water is vital.
Farmyards - care should be taken in moving about yards for traffic and animals. Could milk collection be an issue on dairy farms? Grit or salt should be considered as part ofthe plannign process
Machinery & water supplies- Prevent freezing up. Check anti-freeze levels.
For greater detail on all of these topics check out the Teagasc webpage Be Winter-Ready More useful information and advice can be found in this document - Farming during severe weather conditions (pdf)
The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning prepared a winter-ready booklet which gives information on being prepared, providing practical advice for coping during episodes of severe weather, as well as giving contact details of organisations and agencies that can provide guidance and assistance.
The main message is simple - be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help should you need it.