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According to the latest reports from the agriculture industry, an estimated two million farms are currently up and running across the United States. Though some may still be gleaning the fruits of a few late bloomers in their fields, this year’s harvest season has already come and gone for most. Fall has tightened its grip, and winter is right around the corner. Fields are now bare and waiting for what’s to come during the months ahead. That means it’s time to start preparing for the pending growing season. Of course, this is the time to begin planting certain types of crops.
Contrary to what many people may think, farmers don’t get a nice vacation once their crops are harvested. In fact, their jobs keep them busy all year long. Crops may not be springing up during the colder months, but there’s still plenty of work to do on the farm. Once one year’s harvest is complete, it’s time to begin gearing up for the next. From prepping harvester equipment to performing soil tests, the off-season is the perfect time to get all those preemptive measures underway.
At California Industrial Rubber Company, we’ve been catering to the needs of the agricultural, commercial, mining, and industrial industries since 1958. We provide a wide range of parts and equipment that are crucial for planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops. Our team is dedicated to ensuring our clients are armed with the tools they need for success, and we’re committed to providing the highest levels of quality and service.
Several steps should be taken to get ready for the upcoming harvest season. It all begins with making sure you have all the supplies you need for prepping the fields, planting crops, and taking care of them until they’re ready for harvest. Of course, certain measures are essential for ensuring healthy plants and high yields when the next harvest rolls around.
One of the first steps in preparing for an upcoming harvest is to clear away the stalks, stems, and other plant matter from the last one. Some farmers simply till the soil and turn the plants under to form a compost and replenish some of the nutrients the last crop took out of the soil. Others take away all the remaining plant matter and add other substances to the soil to replace much-needed nutrients. This could mean adding fertilizers, compost, soil conditioners, or other products. It’s all a matter of making sure nutrients are in the soil for next year’s crop to draw from.
You probably already have an idea of the crops you’ll be planting next spring. If not, this is a good time to start planning which ones you’ll want to grow. Different crops have varying needs. Some need to be planted in early spring whereas others shouldn’t be planted until later in the season. At the same time, certain crops are ready for harvest earlier than others.
It’s a good idea to consider the crops you want to plant and their specific needs well in advance of the coming spring. That way, you can potentially stagger the planting and harvesting, so all the crops won’t need the same types of attention at the same times. If you’re not sure of certain crops’ requirements, start researching now so you can develop a solid plan.
In the event last year’s crops gave you trouble, the off-season is the best time to think about those issues and how to prevent them next season. If a crop that needs more sunlight didn’t fare well in one field last year, plan to move it to a different area next time. If a crop that doesn’t need a lot of moisture failed to thrive in a specific area of your fields, it may have gotten too much moisture. Rotate it to higher ground during the upcoming planting season. Don’t leave pests, fungi, and other problems out of the mix, either.
Ideally, you should check all your tilling, harvesting, and planting equipment and other machinery after each use. They’re notorious for acquiring wear and damage during use. Though the damage might not be severe enough to hamper your efforts immediately, it’s best to be aware of it ahead of time. In addition to checking the equipment after use, be sure to go over it with a fine-tooth comb at other times during the year. Weather and exposure to the elements can take a toll on even the toughest machinery, and problems can develop with the equipment while it’s sitting idle as well.
Keep extra replacement bearings, seals, roller chains, belts, and other parts on hand just in case, so you won’t have to bring the entire operation to a halt while you order parts and wait for them to arrive. Schedule routine maintenance, belt service, and other aspects of repair and upkeep before it’s time to use the machinery again. Covering all those details in advance will help ensure you’re ready for harvest and reduce the likelihood of downtime in the midst of the busy season.
If you’ve just completed a harvest and amassed stockpiles of grain, nuts, or other crops, there might be little you can do to check the storage equipment right now. Keep it at the forefront of your mind for later, though. Once the surplus dwindles, make sure all the storage equipment is clean and has no cracks, missing seals and bolts, or other types of damage. If you find any problems, take care of them right away. Otherwise, the crops you store next season could be vulnerable to moisture, insects, rodents, and other hazards.
These are only a few of the things you can do to get ready for next year’s harvest season. Each farm has different needs, so yours may not be the same as those we’ve listed here. Regardless, developing a plan and addressing potential problems are the keys to success. Have a clear-cut strategy in place for the coming season, and be sure your fields and equipment are ready to use when you need them.