A Fall To-Do List on the Farm
As Fall approaches, the end of the harvest season nears. To prepare for next year’s harvest season, it’s important to stay organized and on top of your business. Here are a few other jobs to add to your “to-do” list before winter comes:
It’s important to test your soil before winter comes to see which nutrients your pasture needs in order to deliver the most advantageous growing conditions for the upcoming harvest season.
To build a good base of grass, have your farm on a rotation of at least every 30 days to build your pasture effectively. Pasture cover will build up by extending the grazing rotation, which will allow for clean growth in the final stages. If you are looking for a guide to rotational grazing, check out this guide from the US Department of Agriculture.
Rest the Pasture
After rotational grazing, it is important to give the pasture time to recover for the grass to remain healthy and your farm to remain profitable. After 1-2 weeks of grazing, let the pasture rest for about 30 days. If your farm is overgrazed, give it a break for the rest of the year to replenish nutrients for the next harvest season.
Fall is also an excellent time to control perennial weeds with an herbicide. However, the ideal timing can vary depending on the type of plant and its life cycle. As temperatures decline, cool-season perennials can be treated such as dandelion and quackgrass. To effectively control these weeds, be sure that they have fully recovered from any drought, mowing, or summer harvests, and limit mowing to less than 4 times a year.
Maintain healthy soil for the next harvest season by fertilizing the pasture in the Fall. A soil test will help you understand which nutrients to add or avoid to balance out the field and produce the best yields next year.
Inspect and Repair
Check all buildings, equipment, heaters, and gates to see if anything needs to be repaired. It can be much easier to make these repairs while the weather is still somewhat mild rather than waiting until the dead of winter. Also, it is a good idea to prepare all buildings for mice. As the weather starts to cool off, mice become attracted to warm areas and make their way from the fields to nearby buildings.
Prepare for Cooler Weather
Fall is unpredictable, so make sure you have your machinery and equipment maintained and ready to go to take advantage of milder Fall weather. As temperatures start to decline and the wind begins to increase, livestock will need shelter. Tend to your animals’ needs and stock up on extra feed since livestock eat more in cold weather to maintain energy and warmth.
Be extra careful during fall harvest season. As the season begins to change, the amount of work and duties on the farm changes too. It’s important that farmers get plenty of rest and stay focused so mistakes can be prevented and avoided.
Fall is a very busy season for area farmers. Prepare your farm with help from Agventure. Visit our Knowledge center page for more Fall harvest tips or contact us for more information.