Designing a Wild Home

Put a Fork in It, You're Done

Megan Wild 

It doesn’t matter if you live just outside of the city or if you’re far out in the countryside. From meeting your composting and canning needs, cutting and gathering firewood, seeding, planting and harvesting, livestock care and equipment management, you hardly have any time for fun or frivolity. Plus the chicken coops, don’t forget the chickens.

Because of this extensive list of to-dos, it’s important farmers and homesteaders use the best and most reliable equipment possible. On any list by an expert, no matter the length or the purpose, one of the items under suggestion may include the forklift. While usually associated with heavy construction operations, this piece of equipment can be just as useful on dirt as on concrete.

Why Buy a Forklift for the Farm?

When you think of a farm or a ranch, the first thing that comes to mind are planted crops. Crops, dirt, a large red building with white doors, and a green landscape. That’s the universal picture of agriculture, and it rarely includes anything else, at least initially. Surprisingly enough, people don’t usually think of heavy machinery when they think of farming, but homesteads often possess a number of heavy pieces of equipment in addition to industrial-sized containers and items.

forklift attachment on farm

Make Basic Grunt Work Easier With a Forklift

Now you’re remembering tractors, aren’t you? Transporting heavy equipment and tools are one of the benefits of having a forklift close at hand on your farm. Work you can accomplish efficiently and effectively with the use of this particular machine includes:

• Lifting and carrying large or heavy farming tools, supplies or smaller-sized machinery

• Loading and unloading produce, bulk bags or animal feed

Alternative Use for Forklifts

This particular function of the forklift has long since been discovered in shipping ports, lumber and junkyards, open-air garden centers and even businesses that use external storage centers. Unlike their construction site counterparts, let’s call them alternative-use forklifts. They have special tires that distribute weight more evenly for the distinct terrain of farmland.

Off-Road Potential for Forklifts

You can’t just grab the first yellow vehicle from your local construction site and drive it to your homestead for use. You’ll crush any crops popping through the surface, ruin your soil and quite possibly get stuck in the mud. Rough terrain work requires the right model of forklift, one that’s adapted to the uneven and unstable nature of country landscapes. You even need the right kind of engine in order to ensure you don’t strain your equipment too heavily.

For alternative-use forklifts, the engine to beat will be diesel. Diesel engines already power a majority of farm equipment, partly because they are a greener option for agricultural use. Also, diesel engines combine efficiency, durability and performance for rough and uneven terrain use, a bonus when operating an alternative-use forklift.

Indoor Work for Forklifts

Anyone who has been to or worked at a home improvement store knows the usefulness of the forklift. Lifting and transporting pallets of items and heavy products or transporting stock materials — the forklift can do it all. If you need to work several levels higher than your legs and arms are capable of reaching, there’s a special type of platform forklift to meet that need. Thanks to the relative absence of harsh weather or uneven terrain, these particular forklifts help workers move and stack boxes and crates, and are modified with safety measures for worker safety.

Additional Uses for Forklifts on a Homestead

Other uses for your forklift, as you have undoubtedly seen the value of the machine while reading this article and have begun shopping online, include plowing snow, towing items and machines and various hay-related chores. You’re going to want to purchase the necessary add-on implements to the forklift in order to use it for these additional operations and make sure you keep your machine clean and well maintained to prevent rust or malfunction.

While purchasing or leasing a new forklift would be preferable, a used machine that’s well-kept and up-to-date can save you on shopping time and get you back to your farm work quickly.

What Is Soil Compaction, and Why Do I Need to Do It?

Megan Wild 

Large-scale agriculture leaves several after-effects, both good and bad, on the environment. On a global scale, the return to natural living can and will result in a healthier state for people and the planet, but we must guard against local and immediate repercussions on the land and surrounding elements.  

A few commonly known effects include, but are not limited to, land conversion, habitat loss and accidental wasteful water consumption. As agriculture becomes more widespread and farming tools and machines improve, rare situations like soil compaction become more commonplace.


Agriculture's Effects on Soil

Agriculture will inevitably affect the soil. Whether that effect comes in the form of soil erosion and degradation, loss of moisture and deforestation or even full-blown desertification, the future of your field depends on constant vigilance. Some of the rarer occurrences, such as soil compaction, have become more frequent due to the wider use of heavy industrial farming equipment and continuous-row crop planting.

Soil Compaction & Structure

Soil compaction appears in operational fields that are being worked while the earth is wet and susceptible to clumping. A relatively rare occurrence, the threat of soil compaction can alter your soil’s ability to hold and conduct water, nutrients and air — all of which are vital to healthy plant growth and productivity.

Expected yields and potential crop rotations are all impacted by soil structure damage, which is facilitated by compaction. Soil compaction has a particularly dire effect in drought years, as it can lead to stunted and stressed crops and plants.


When Compaction Is a Good Thing

For farmers, the prospect of compacted soil does not bode well. But there are instances when having a dense layer of soil can and will serve as a benefit. Overall, soil compaction does not necessarily mean the land has been polluted or rendered unusable. It simply means the earth has layered onto itself and become impervious to water circulation. In agricultural circles, this phenomenon is called a “hardpan.”

If you intend to build a home on farmland, add a separate outbuilding or install a driveway, a hardpan will do nicely. While other topsoil and subsoil areas run the risk of flooding or crumbling during the weather effects of the seasons, hardpan soil remains compacted, serving as a perfect foundation source for architectural purposes.

It’s important you use the correct type of machinery on your farmland. To convert your hard, compacted land into something useful outside of farming or animal grazing, you should clarify the type of work you intend to do. The length and breadth of the area will help you determine if you need a large piece of equipment or a smaller, more handheld implement.

A smaller compactor has great maneuverability. Choosing the right tool will affect whether you develop the compacted land correctly or ruin the subsoil layers for any use at all.

Identifying Soil Compaction

Some of the visual cues to identify the presence of soil compaction include waterlogging on the surface or subsurface layers of soil, changes in soil structure without weather or human facilitation, and a visible reduction of porosity. Even dirt color or smell can illustrate soil compaction — pay attention if your soil begins to turn blue-gray or starts emitting a hydrogen sulfide scent.

Other methods of identifying soil compaction include measuring soil strength with the use of a penetrometer, a device created to measure soil resistance and vegetation. Crops grow in a noticeable pattern. When soil compaction begins to take place, it impacts root growth, and the colors of your crop leaves will correspondingly begin to pale. Spotting soil compaction early will make the treatment of the land easier and the recovery faster, and it will also protect your incoming harvest from getting ruined.

Preventive Measures

To ensure your soil does not begin to compact and interrupt the growth of your crops, try not to operate machinery on wet soil. When operating heavy tillage equipment, make sure it’s balanced in weight, in peak operational order, and that its blades are well-sharpened. With a bit of foresight, you can prevent soil compaction completely by creating a lane specifically for your industrial equipment to travel.

Final Thoughts

When living a self-sustainable lifestyle, it’s important to use tools and machinery properly, but your ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances can serve you best. When faced with the rare situation of soil compaction, try to see the opportunity in the development, not just the money and time you’ll need to spend to correct the problem.

How to Save on Fuel Costs on the Farm

Megan WildOne of the highest costs you’ll encounter on the farm is the cost of fuel.

Running a farm is an expensive business. There’s a lot you have to purchase, including seed, fertilizer, herbicides, livestock, feed and fuel. You can budget for most of these expenses, so it’s easy to keep your spending within limits. However, in addition to monitoring your spending, you should also consider saving money by reducing fuel costs.

The cost of fuel fluctuates depending on supply and demand and the time of year. Because your livelihood depends on your ability to plant, grow and harvest your crops or livestock, you need to get as much out of your profit margin as you can. Below are a few ideas to help you reduce the amount of fuel you use and save some money.

1. Reduce Idling Time

One of the largest wasters of fuel is running your equipment when you’re not actively using it. In the past, because of the way diesel engines were built, it was important to keep engines idling to ensure everything had time to heat up and cool down properly. Technology has advanced the diesel engine, so it’s no longer imperative to keep your equipment running when it’s not in use.

To reduce fuel costs, limit machine warm-up to three to five minutes. When it comes to cooling your equipment down, you probably don’t need to let it run for more than 10 minutes, which will further reduce fuel costs. Shutting off the engine when you’re not using the vehicle, instead of letting it run, will also help you save money on fuel.

old red tractor

2. Store Your Equipment Properly

In addition to your engine idling, just starting your equipment can increase the amount of fuel you use. When your equipment is not in use, store it somewhere out of the way so you don’t have to start it and run it to move it. You want it to be easy to access for the times when you need it, but don’t leave it in an area where it can get in the way. Limiting the amount of time you have to run your equipment will reduce the need to purchase fuel.

3. Maintain Your Equipment

Keeping your equipment in proper running order will also help reduce fuel consumption. This will ensure  the engines are burning fuel efficiently and effectively, so you aren’t spending more than you have to. Maintaining your equipment can also reduce the likelihood of a major breakdown occurring — which may end up costing you even more money.

4. Upgrade Your Equipment

Technology is advancing, and with those advancements comes equipment that runs more smoothly and economically. Sure, the cost to upgrade to the latest tractor model might be expensive up front, but over time, it could end up saving you a lot of money.

5. Use the Right Equipment for the Job

While a large tractor probably helps you get jobs done faster, is it really necessary when a smaller, more fuel-efficient tractor could do the same job? Like upgrading your equipment to the latest model, downsizing your vehicles for better efficiency could help you save when it comes to fuel costs.

6. Decide If a Machine Is Necessary

One of the best ways to reduce fuel costs is to not use your equipment at all. This idea might not work for every task you have on the farm, but it might help with a few. If human power can accomplish a job effectively and efficiently, that could save you money. You know your farm and budget the best, so you can decide what tasks are worth using human power or machine power to accomplish.

7. Slow Down

You’re probably not drag-racing your equipment across the fields, but reducing your speed limit can reduce the amount of fuel you burn. Slowing down even five to 10 miles per hour could save you a lot. It might increase the amount of time it takes you to complete a job, but more than likely, your labor costs are less than your fuel costs, so you’re saving more in the long run.

Running a farm can be incredibly expensive, and there are a lot of costs you have to worry about — with fuel probably your largest payment. Finding ways to reduce the amount of fuel you use will reduce your cost and increase your bottom line.

Unfarmable Land? Not So Fast!

Megan Wild 

Homesteaders with a portion of their property unavailable for farming. New gardeners faced with less-than-optimal land for sale. Farmland overused and exhausted by tillage or damaged by pollution and contamination — these are only a few examples of the unfavorable situation farmers and ranchers can find themselves facing in terms of unfarmable soil, which will affect your ability to lead any kind of self-sustainable lifestyle.

As a homesteader, self-reliance and sustainability are your primary goals, but turning a profit from your crops or livestock matter as well. The virility of your land can make or break any economic value your farm can offer, so identifying alternative ways to generate income from your farm will be important. Here are a few ideas.


1. Alternative Farming and Harvesting

If your property does not allow for widespread crop growth due to a lack of soil fertilization, substitute traditional crops for non-traditional produce. Mushrooms are a crop that you can grow virtually anywhere because their environment can be manufactured. Snails are a valuable export crop that needs no preparation or encouragement, while Tilapia fish require only a small startup investment and yield great results on their own and as sources for fertilizer.

Through the introduction of organic matter, virtually any type of soil can go from unusable to valuable in time. Think of the process as an infusion, and it becomes a simple idea: The “bad” soil gets broken up, allowing for a sizable amount of “good” soil and compost materials to get added and sink in. After a certain amount of time passes, the bad soil changes thanks to the presence of the good soil and organic matter, and the entire area begins to improve.

2. Terraforming Your Soil

People generally only consider organic waste composting or livestock manure when thinking of organic matter, but green compost can serve your unusable soil just as well. Planting certain crops in the fall —  such as alfalfa, hairy vetch and clover — provide natural enrichment to the soil as they decompose and die in the winter. They require little tending to, do not affect spring crop yields, and break up the soil. This helps make spring planting and reaping easier and more profitable.

The best time to work unusable land will be in the fall, as during the spring and summer, you should be reaping and tending to the more productive areas of your farm or ranch. Late fall makes for the most optimal time of year as your replanting and preparations for winter should already be complete. It gives the arid, rocky, sandy or barren land all winter to change.

For clay and sandy soils, you will want to add an abundance of compost material. This creates a loam soil that converts the clay and sand particles into advantageous elements for deep root planting. You will need to continually add organic matter to this area to sustain the effect. However, you will likely not run out of composting materials to use, so that probably won’t be an issue.

3. Tackle Land Maintenance

An efficient method of land and soil rehabilitation comes from the use of machinery. Whether you decide on rotational, zone or ridge tillage, certain tools will prove most effective if used correctly and at the optimal time. A tractor can help greatly in breaking up rocky or clay soil unless there’s too much moisture, which results in the clay clumping together rather than breaking up. For land overgrown with weeds and grass, a lawn mower will serve you well both in clearing the land and providing you with valuable composting materials for later use.

If you are curious as to the type of machine to use, you may wish to examine the Cat Spartan Mowers, which are sturdy enough to cover large swaths of land. Additional options in the form of animal tillage are also available. If you possess a functional ranch or collection of livestock, chickens, for instance, you can make effective use of their pecking and scratch to till in the sod. Goats and bovine are also an option, as they will graze wide and eliminate any old roots that are in need of removal.

Wood ash serves as a solution for overworked or polluted areas of land. The ash from your wood burning fireplace or cooking pit replaces lost nutrients in the soil, absorbs toxins collected underground, and raises the pH of your soil as well. It’s important you remember this solution comes from wood ash — charcoal purchased from the store and used in your grill cannot do the same. A lot of commercial charcoal contains additives and additional chemicals that are toxic to the environment.

Alternate Ideas and Good News

If your field or parcel of land has no capability as a farming source, and you have no patience to make it so, converting the land for different users can serve your needs. In certain areas, land can be leased for a variety of uses such as hunting, mineral extraction, advertising, and more options that result in long-term economic benefits. However, if you lease it out you’ll want to make sure that you protect yourself from any litigation in the lease.

To serve as a proper source of growth for edible plant life, the soil must contain essential nutrients and vitamins. Soils that have become unfarmable or naturally unusable portions of land do not possess these elements. Fortunately, nature can heal itself if given the opportunity, and barren land can evolve with a new environment. Infertile soil can change with proper treatment, either from machinery or more natural means.

Farm Tree-Felling Safety Tips for Fall

Megan WildTrees are one of the oldest utilized resources in the history of man. Even before we developed the ability to cut through the trunks of trees or shape wood with tools, we would use their leaves and branches as shelter and building materials.

Since those days of shivering through the night and the rain, our abilities in construction have advanced dramatically past woodworking and into stone masonry, concrete, glass and even steel. For those who aim to live off-grid, though, wood remains a vital and multipurpose resource.

As a homesteader, the more self-reliant you become, the greater chance you will eventually begin harvesting your own wood. Some of the basic areas you should prepare for when tree harvesting include planning, felling, extraction, transport, the replacement of resources and, of course, safety. While this particular article focuses on the last of these areas, make sure you educate yourself in everything at some point. Experienced landowners, farmers and ranchers see timber as a marketable crop, like produce or vegetable crops.

Here are a few tips and ideas to consider for protecting yourself, your family and your tools while felling and transporting trees.

Conduct Basic Prep

Initial preparation for the work ahead should include the basic safety gear checklist: head, ear and eye protection, gloves, and leg and foot protective wear. This includes helmets, safety pants and chaps, which can be worn over your work pants, safety goggles, and glasses or a face screen. A first-aid kit should be kept nearby in order to address emergencies with immediacy.

Also, prior to using any equipment, you should observe any and all external dangers. Elements of severe cold or strong winds, moisture or dry heat can negatively impact the harvesting operation and personal safety. Make sure you inspect the ground for stability and the area for power and electrical lines. Any and all hazardous materials should be labeled and stored properly. This includes oils, fuel and lubricants for your tools and equipment.

Clear the Way

Before you collect the trees you will use for your building and crafting purposes, you will first need to cut down anything dangerous in your work area. Dead, dried out and rotting trees should be identified and either felled or marked to avoid. Adding these trees to your pile can result in any number of accidents or incidents to your person or team, including collapses and sudden fires.

Make sure you map out a proper landing area and skid trail for your cutting, skidding and piling needs. The area should factor in wind direction and the natural lean of the terrain, so when you cut down and collect your felled trees, they do not roll off or fall in a dangerous direction.

Use the Proper Equipment

While homesteading does not require you to gather as much lumber as a professional logging operation, you are not simply gathering a few logs of firewood. As a homesteader, you will have acres of land to work through, requiring something a bit larger than an ax or chainsaw. The machine you end up using will depend on the method of harvesting and cut you intend, so you will want to make sure you identify your needs and overall goals for your resources.

Whether you intend to use the cut-to-length or the full-tree-length method, you will require heavy machinery to get the job done. Harvesters handle the felling, delimbing and bucking of the trees. Felling heads grip trees for safe removal, forwarders transport logs from the stump to a roadside landing, and skidders pull cut trees out of the forest and transport them to your designated landing site. These machines require proper training and supervision for your own safety and the safety of your work team or employees.

There are multiple harvesting systems, and none are the wrong choice to make. As long as you ensure operational standards, legal prescriptions and management policies have been observed, your operation will yield great results. Tree harvesting will also promote increased growth within your woodland area, stimulate regeneration and prevent natural wildfires from sparking during the summer.

When you start tree harvesting, make sure there are beneficial gains for yourself. Stacking logs for no other use can waste your time and energy, something no homesteader wants to lose.


Best Beginner Tools for the Burgeoning Homesteader

Megan Wild

When you and your family decide to move to the country from the big city or a suburb, you want to be as prepared as possible. Living off-grid saves a lot of money and reduces your carbon footprint in the long term, but the initial investment you make on your land and supplies must be significant enough to reach self-sustainability.

What to Look For In a Homestead Location

When going for the full off-the-grid lifestyle, the first thing to consider will be location, location, location! If you're reading this article, then you've probably already checked out the property you intend to use for your off-the-grid life. But just in case, here's a reminder of the things to check and consider regarding your property:

  • Real Estate: You need enough land for two crucial elements — arable land and grazing pasture.
  • Access: You do not necessarily need to be completely cut off from the outside world, but you'll want a certain amount of privacy from potential poachers and thieves.
  • Water: Whether it's above or below ground, you want to make sure you have a reliable water source available at all times.
  • Soil: Rich soil is essential for the best crop production. Make sure yours is dark and crumbles in your hands.
  • Timber: A depth of woodland has many uses. From a source of building material to a natural boundary for your land, you want to keep a source of natural timber around and growing continually.

Now with the location and natural resources sorted out, we can consider the things you'll need on a daily basis for your self-sustainable lifestyle.

You are going to need tools. This is a given, but there's a difference between a well-established farm and an up-and-coming homestead. Sometimes the simplest tools are the best, while other times an industrial tool can save time and money.

Tools for Your Off-Grid Homestead

Self-sustainability means just that. You cannot go off-grid and then call a repair company anytime things break down. You may not be a professional carpenter or electrician, but if you're going to live off the land, you better learn how to make repairs and manipulate the resources around you.

Without the right tools for the right jobs, your new homesteading life will be a great deal rougher than you may like.


Basic Hand Tools

No matter how large or widespread your operation grows, basic repairs, carpentry and woodworking will always be necessary. Whether your brand of choice is Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ridgid, or another brand, make sure to invest in the latest tools. This will pay off down the road in terms of safety, quality, and longevity of your tools.

If you're creating a pen or stable for animals or making repairs to your home and food storage sheds, your hand tools will become some of the most valuable items for you and your family’s well-being.

  • Claw and sledgehammers: Two of the most essential tools used by agriculturalists, the importance of claw and sledgehammers in repairs, demolition and woodworking operations could not be more evident. Sledgehammers typically cost between $25 and $150, while claw hammers range from $10 to $50.
  • Machetes: These tools are excellent for harvesting crops and chopping compost. Machetes are also perfect for managing vegetation, including snedding – a term for removing branches from the central trunk of trees.
  • Shovels: You need sturdy shovels for digging, lifting and moving bulk materials and soil. They're ideal for quick jobs in the field and save you money on gasoline or electricity.
  • Hoe: The hoe is one of the oldest and most versatile agricultural and horticultural hand tools used in the world. You can use it for shaping and clearing soil, removing weeds and harvesting root crops.
  • Post Hole Diggers: A single person can operate a post hole digger, a tool perfect for single-use jobs or delicate locations in your garden. Unlike with a tractor drill, there's no need for gasoline.
  • Wheelbarrows: A wheelbarrow can help you to transport your supplies, tools, building materials, and debris easier and with less strain on your body.

Basic Industrial Tools

For the harder work needs of your farm or ranch, you'll need more "horsepower" to handle the work. Thankfully an off-the-grid life does not mean using only medieval-style tools. Machines and heavy equipment are available options:

  • Chainsaws: When it comes to winter wood collection, swift landscaping, and clearing fallen trees or timber after a storm, chainsaws are the perfect tools.
  • Table Saw: You'll want a good table saw for woodworking, including those larger building projects and repairs that crop up from time to time.
  • Tractors: Anyone who understands farming knows how vital tractors are. These machines have become synonymous with agriculture and work perfectly for pulling or pushing agricultural machinery or trailers. They also work well for plowing, tilling, disking, harrowing, and planting.
  • Utility Trailer: Also known as a farm trailer, utility trailers are perfect for transporting large items and livestock around the farm. After all, you cannot fit everything into your wheelbarrow.
  • ATV or UTV: Essentially taking the place of a horse, keeping an off-road vehicle such as an ATV or UTV can help with daily mobility around your property. Also, with the proper attachment, these vehicles can clear roadways and trails as well as handle small-scale tractor needs.

Protection & Firearms

It may not have occurred to you initially, but retreating from civilized society means facing danger in a new way.

Citizens of the countryside will quickly realize the necessity of owning and operating a firearm. For new gun owners, it's important to understand that it's a tool like any other. While I won't provide a specific list of firearms here, there’s plenty of information out there on the subject.

More important than the type of gun you choose will be the mindset in which you use it. Once you've decided on owning a gun, remember its purpose – to protect crops and livestock, protect your family and people, and to put food on your table.

Ultimately the tools you keep on hand will determine your homestead's overall productivity and longevity. Make sure you anticipate the needs of your property, crops, and livestock because self-sustainability connects all of these elements directly to the welfare of you and your family.

Farm Safety: How to Make Sure Your Seat Belt is Safe

Megan WildFarming may not seem like a particularly dangerous practice at first glance, but agriculture ranks as one of the more hazardous industries in the world.

The small farm of crops and plants in your backyard may not pose a significant threat to your physical person, but larger-scale operations are a different matter. The bigger the farm or ranch, the higher the risk of injury and illness is for workers and their families. These risks include pesticide exposure, pulmonary disease, industrial equipment incidents, hearing loss, and various stress factors.

Every day at least 100 agricultural operators suffer a work injury. In 2014 alone, 12,000 youth sustained injuries on farms, and 4,000 of said injuries were due to farm work. Some of the best preventive measures against incident and injury on your farm are relatively basic ideas and suggestions.


Source: Pexels

How to Encourage Farm Safety

Keep any and all areas of foot traffic in good repair and free of obstruction hazards. Handrails should be available for all stairways, and you should check all your ladders and equipment regularly and keep it in good condition. Your livestock areas must be clearly labeled and bordered.

You should provide your workers and family members with regular training on basic safety around equipment and animals. Only those with official training and certification related to how to use equipment should be allowed to work with it. Potential obstacles in the landscape should be removed or marked to prevent malfunctions or on-the-job damage. Your machinery, specifically your tractors, should offer overhead protection and measures to protect against injury during dismount or falls.

Tractors are so useful on large-scale farms that they are nearly synonymous with the image of farm life in the public consciousness. As a primary machine for farm use, tractors are also responsible for a majority of fatalities and severe injuries.

Operating and maintaining this equipment requires safe work practices, which include being physically and mentally fit during operation. Stress, fatigue, or operating your tractor under the influence of medication, alcohol, or drugs can result in death or injury.

Make sure you pay attention to your tractor's safety information and warning decals. Always inspect your tractor for any and all hazards before and after use, make sure anyone operating the tractor is trained and capable in those checks as well. Never leave your tractor running unattended or dismount before turning off the engine.

Make sure the area is clear of all bystanders and never allow passengers, especially children, on a moving tractor. This last practice is essential as tractors do not typically come with two sets of seat belts or harnesses, and you should always wear these devices during tractor use. To ensure that your seat belts will work properly, inspect the belt for cuts and make sure the seat belt hardware has no corrosion or cracks.

Emphasizing Tractor Safety

There's an entire week dedicated to the ideas discussed in this article. National Farm Safety and Health Week takes place September 17-23 in 2017. The event emphasizes topics including tractor safety, especially the importance of seat belt use.

Because there are many uncontrollable aspects of farming, including off-season weather changes and environmental factors, it's important to pay attention to the areas of your farm that you can control.

These safety practices help reduce worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses as well as medical expense, workers' compensation payouts, and insurance hikes. Following these safety tips creates a safe and healthy work environment and allows your farm to operate more efficiently.

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