Preparing for Summer: Tips and Tricks
As spring turns to summer, farmers across America welcome new crops, warmer weather and unique seasonal challenges. At JAI, we are happy to share a few simple ways to position your farm for summer success.
Keeping Your Soil Free of Weeds
Summer is the season when crops begin to flourish, but so can weeds. Invasive weeds can leach nitrogen and water from the soil, starving your crops. But you can use many techniques to prevent and/or rid a farm of weeds, including:
- Rotating crops
- Planting cover crops
- Varying your selection of crops
- Maintaining a healthy, balanced and semi-dry soil
- Delaying planting
- Performing pre-and post-emerge tilling
Taking on the Summer Heat
The heat of the summer can often be intense and risk the health of your crops, your herd – and yourself.
Providing shade for all the above is one simple way to help your farm make it through the season. Many heat-sensitive crops, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and peas, tend to suffer once the temperature hits 80 degrees F. Increased watering and shade netting can help more sensitive crops stay healthy as they keep the soil and air temperatures up to 10 degrees cooler.
Shade is also critical for your herd. Trees can protect your animals naturally, and shade shelters do much the same thing. Maintaining air circulation in buildings is another way to cool off your herd. They also need access to plenty of fresh and cool drinking water. In addition, misting systems, water pools and mud wallows provide cooling for your animals.
Water is critical for everything in the summer; get an idea of your personal water needs and take advantage of natural water sources. Determine what steps you could take to avoid the extra costs of tapping into municipal water sources, such as capturing rainwater with rain barrels and water tanks.
Protect Yourself AND Your Farm
Your farm is important, but so are you! Make sure to consistently apply sunscreen and stay hydrated so you can think clearly. Another way to protect yourself and your farm is with a policy from James Allen Insurance. For more information on what we cover, click here.