PHOTO: Daniel Johnson
Weather forecasters called the recent subzero weather the polar vortex, which I guess means it’s really cold here in the Midwest. Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem that much harsher than it does every January, but maybe all the windbreak trees around here help block the wind and keep the wind chills at more tolerable levels. Though I guess “tolerable” is still relative; it’s minus-3 degrees Fahrenheit as I write this, but that’s a big improvement from minus-30, which it was this morning.
I think (or hope) the worst of it will be past us by the time you read this. But that’s not to say another cold front won’t strike in a week or two. Subzero temperatures are just a part of life during a Midwest winter.
Farmers who have spent their lives around here grow accustomed to it and know how to deal with it. But newcomers to the region might be caught unprepared.
Through the years, Hobby Farms has shared plenty of tips, tricks and advice for farmers dealing with cold weather. This seems like a good time to gather up some of the best for easy access.
I focus on tools, machines and items that can help keep your farm running no matter what the temperature as well as help protect you from the cold and just make your life a little easier.
Tips for Starting Engines in Cold Weather
This piece focuses on tractors, but some of the advice applies to cars, trucks and similar vehicles as well. If you need to keep things rolling in cold weather, using engine block heaters and removing batteries when not in use are just two of the handy tips discussed.
Why You Need an Emergency Generator
If a winter storm causes a power outage, the lack of electricity could make your life in the cold even more difficult. If you run a farm and care for livestock, you need backup electricity, and that’s where generators come in. This article expounds on the need for a generator while exploring some of the available options; for a more basic explanation of the options and their advantages, give this article a try. And remember, be cautious around generators—safety tips are covered here.
Dress Appropriately and Stay Warm
While rushing around making sure your livestock are safe and warm, take care of yourself. General cold weather safety tips can be found here, and if you want specific tips on finding the perfect pair of winter gloves, check this out.
Prepare Before the Cold Weather Strikes
Don’t get caught unprepared. If the forecasts call for frigid temperatures, start getting ready while it’s still reasonably warm. Need ideas so you don’t forget anything? This list of winter weather tips and reminders for the farm covers a lot and is sure to keep you busy.
Stay warm, folks! And may the polar vortex head back to the polar regions before too much longer.