Harsh weather conditions can make everything more difficult for farmers. Simple tasks that normally take a few hours to complete can suddenly take multiple days when farmers are forced to work in severe rain, snow, or wind. While working in such conditions will never be easy, the right tools and accessories can make certain tasks much easier and safer for farmers.
Preparing for severe weather sooner than later will pay off in spades. To boost productivity and safety, anyone working in the agricultural industry should have the following farm tools and accessories:
Digging bars are an incredibly versatile tool for farmers. In addition to helping dig rocks and loosen up the soil for planting, digging bars are also valuable for breaking up ice in the winter. Unlike a crowbar, a digging bar is long and straight. It doesn’t offer leverage; its main purpose is to break up hard surfaces. From breaking thawed water troughs to roughening up frozen soil for fence repair, a forged steel digging bar will have plenty of uses around the farm.
High-Performance Gear for Extreme Cold
Some farmers are so preoccupied with protecting their crops and machinery for the winter that they forget to winterize themselves.
- Balaclava—When temperatures drop to extreme levels, you’ll be grateful to have a balaclava. Even if you don’t think that it’s cold enough to warrant a face mask, try hopping on an ATV in freezing temperatures without one and you’ll soon change your mind.
- Base Layers—Many farmers work up a sweat under their clothes. Look for moisture-wicking base layers designed to keep you dry and warm while you work.
- Insulated Bib and Coat—Versatile, wind-tight, and water-repellent, duck bib overalls will be your go-to cold weather gear when the mercury falls. While there are plenty of cold weather bibs on the market, a duck bib overall is often the attire of choice for farmers due to their ruggedness and versatility. Don’t forget to add an insulated jacket for maximum coverage and protection.
- Gloves—No pair of gloves can hold up forever. If your current pair has seen better days, replace them with cold weather gloves made to last and designed to protect you from a variety of onslaughts.
- Boots and Socks—There is nothing worse than working with cold, wet feet. Keep your feet warm and dry with a water-repellent pair of boots and a quality pair of moisture-wicking socks.
If you live in a place that gets heavy snow, you know that farming duties don’t come to a halt because snow is in the way. To clear the way, a snow blower is a worthwhile investment that will save you lots of time and energy. The only downside of snow blowers is that most aren’t made to clear large tracts of land. However, they can help you quickly clear an easy path to your barn, shed, or livestock pasture.
When large areas of snow must be cleared away, you might want to skip the snow blower and opt for a snow plow instead. This handy accessory attaches to tractors and can help you clear large sections of snow in a short amount of time. You can also get a snow plow attachment for your truck, ATV, or UTV. The only downside is that your truck or ATV will be much slower at clearing snow than your tractor.
Extreme weather conditions often cause power outages that can make completing some farm tasks laboriously slow and difficult. Portable generators offer a backup power supply that can be extremely useful for winter and summer storms. You can lug them around the farm to power tools or use them for the home to cook dinner. Portable generators come in all different sizes and types. Make sure that you get a generator that can supply enough power to the equipment you want to run. To avoid getting an undersized generator, check the manual of the equipment that you want to run and make note of their power requirements.
Fence Repair Supplies
Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can make DIY fence repair agonizingly slow. However, you also know that it’s a chore that can’t be ignored when animals can easily get out and roam the countryside. To make things easier on yourself, keep a basic fence repair kit on hand or in your truck that will allow you to easily repair a fence in a hurry. For instance, sagging or broken wires can be quickly repaired using a re-bar tie wire twister. Simply loop a length of wire around the post and cattle panel, bending them with the re-bar tie wire twister. Twist the wires tight, bend the excess wire down, and you’ve quickly secured your fence.
Getting cattle on and off a trailer when it’s slick outside is both difficult and dangerous. Every farmer should be using salt, calcium chloride, or another type of de-icer to ensure better footing while navigating icy terrain. When choosing a de-icer, make sure that it doesn’t kill any plants that are in the area. You can also use natural de-icers, such as sand and bird seed, which can add some traction to the area.
While no one wants to think about worst case scenarios, it pays to be prepared when emergency situations arise. Simple items such as an insulated blanket, a flashlight, and an emergency radio can make all the difference in worst case scenarios. Additional emergency items to consider storing in your truck include emergency rations, a first aid kit, jumper cables, road flares, and tire chains and other extreme weather travel gear. It’s also a good idea to store backup gloves, clothes, and socks in case your clothing gets wet. Doing so will save you a lot of discomfort and, potentially, your life.
About the Author: Natalie Bucsko serves as the Marketing Communications Specialist for RefrigiWear. From the Dahlonega, Georgia, headquarters, Natalie oversees all content, including the website, knowledge center, blog, catalog, email, and social media. Before joining RefrigiWear, Natalie worked as a Marketing Coordinator for several years at companies ranging from startups to insurance. She enjoys cooking and baking, sports, reading and spending time outdoors – especially when it is cold!