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March 21, 2019

Celebrate the Arrival of Springtime on the Farm

How Farmers Prepare For The Spring Season

Find out how farmers and ranchers cultivate a flourishing spring season and lay the groundwork for summertime success.

March 20th marked the first day of spring—a season full of transformations and promise—and the beginning of a very busy time for farmers and ranchers across the nation.

To the north, farmers may be combating flooding resulting from melted snow, which can mean washed out roads and flooded fields, while farmers in southern states may be more concerned with preparing their fields and applying herbicides, especially if they anticipate an early planting schedule due to warmer-than-usual temperatures in the weather forecast. Additionally, springtime results in an increase of livestock flocks and herds as young animals are born and are typically released into pens and pastures for the first time in at least a few months.

Spring into Action on the Farm

The beginning of springtime is the perfect time to conduct a thorough inspection of your operation—outbuildings, livestock housing, machinery—and ensure everything is in good condition and ready for another strenuous season of use. If major repairs are required for your equipment, you’ll likely want to contact an expert quickly as later in the springtime tends to be a busy time for agricultural mechanics.

Early spring, before calving and lambing season, is also a good time to clean out any livestock shelters, have livestock examined by a veterinarian, and see that each animal’s inoculations are up-to-date.

You’ll also want to consider testing the pH and nutrient levels of your soil before you begin planting to measure your fields’ fertility—plus, healthy soil yields healthy plants, so this step is especially important. According to the Ohio State University Extension Service, a basic soil test measures phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, pH, cation exchange capacity, lime requirement index, and base saturation. The results of your tests may impact what you choose to plant and the seeds you’ll need to order, so taking care of this on the early side is best.

Furthermore, do your best to get most of your pressing administrative tasks such as taxes, file your invoices, and renegotiate contract terms with suppliers done now as chances are you won’t have much (if any) time to devote to this vitally important part of your business once busy springtime season gets into full swing.

Prepare for a Successful Summertime

Summertime is quickly approaching, and it’s smart to prepare for the steamy temperatures sooner rather than later.

The USDA National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) suggests ensuring you have a good drought plan in place before it’s necessary, encouraging farmers to choose an irrigation system that will result in less water loss due to evaporation, percolation, and runoff. The NRCS also suggests farmers implement conservation practices that reduce runoff and encourage infiltration of water into the soil, as well as planting and cultivating crops that withstand dryness, hold water, and reduce the need for irrigation.

Those with livestock should also take steps to guarantee their animals stay healthy and cool during the summertime. Consider building a portable shade shelter that you can easily move around a field, and set up fans in your barns or indoor pens as they’ll provide a cooling breeze, while also helping to prevent biting insects like mosquitoes and flies from landing on your livestock.

Regardless of the time of year, AgAmerica Lending is here to help you with the right financing for your operation. Contact us today to learn more about how our industry-unique 10-year line of credit could provide you the necessary operating capital to set your operation on the path to success in any season.

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