winter-farming-risks

18 February 2021

As the mercury falls and we experience cold spells, the farming community continue to be working hard to look after their livestock and livelihoods.

While the majority of the UK is under lockdown once again and required to follow restrictions, it's largely business as usual for farmers who need to keep production lines running. The winter months bring added risks that need to be managed to safeguard stock and profit.

 

Maintaining the Land

 

It is essential for sheep farmers to ensure that both their sheep are fed and protected from any snow that could build up in the fields and dyke-sides. A build-up in these locations can lead to the old season lambs and pregnant ewes being sadly suffocated in snowdrifts. Frozen water troughs and limited grass can take their toll on the sheep and the provision of fodder and top up minerals are important to the continued health of the animal in preparation for the spring.

Many arable farmers will have sown winter crops, whilst others will be waiting impatiently for the ground to heat up sufficiently for spring crops to be sown. Before this can be done though, the fields need to be prepared. Muck spread to provide essential organic matter to the soil, ploughed and levelled, with fertiliser and seed ordered and stored safely ready for the window for sowing to appear.

 

Ensuring Safe Storage

 

At this time of year, there can be a range of extra inputs being stored on the farm and you should consider how and where these are stored. Such planning is essential to prevent unnecessary damage from being caused by any bad weather. Ensuring bags are stored safely is important to reduce risk.

Careful storage can help prevent loss of the bags valuable contents due to storm or flood, but it can also be a source of damage to machinery stored nearby or to staff or family if one of these bags topples as a result and bursts due to strong winds. Consideration of the storage location and exposure to the weather is as important as the actual stacking and moving of the contents themselves.

These two factors can result in losses that no business would want to incur in the run-up to what is normally a busy springtime.

 

If you've got any question about farming or rural business insurance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here.

 

bruce stevenson insurance broker, insurance broker, rural business executive, farms and estates

Farms and Estates Account Executive

 

Contact Us