As it seems our world is turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard for anyone to stay positive. Especially for farmers when the cattle market seems to have fallen out of bed and you hear rumors of dairy farms dumping milk in their lagoons due to lack of fillable supply. Then we hear the peak for COVID-19 in the Midwest could not be until June. So what does someone make out of all of this? How do you feature equipment to cattle feeders with so much negativity out there? How much worse can it get? What are we going to do? How are we going to survive? These are all very good and vital questions that no one has the answers to, except ONE.
So what can we do? We must work with the tools we have and use the resources that are at our fingertips and at our disposal. One is keep doing what you are doing, except more efficiently. For example you can contract your fuel for a year at a very reasonable price. Work with your nutritionist and your feed resource team to get your feed and additives at a cheaper price. Check with your loan officers to keep an eye on interest rates and how you can use this to your advantage.
Also, I have been hearing, “I’m not buying anything” or “I’m not spending a dime right now”, that in itself is not bad practice, but you should also make sure your decision now does not cost you more down the road. It is still good to keep your equipment up by maintaining the units at their suggested service intervals, your feed wagon planetary oil level is good, and you are still using the recommended oil. A planetary failure can cost you way more than service does. Keep an eye on your auger condition, plow blade, leading edge, and knives. If these parts are not maintained properly, it may cost you more in fuel consumption, mixing may take longer, and longer unloading times if these are not maintained properly. It will also cost in mixing quality which will affect your daily gain and your milk production. Don’t forget the simple things. If your wagon has an oil bath hub, make sure the oil level is good. We encourage you to also jack them up and check the wheel bearings.
Do the same practice with your manure spreaders. On vertical beater manure spreaders ensure your cupped paddles are not too worn. If they are it takes more horsepower, fuel and has less of a spread pattern. Letting them wear into the beaters causes extra maintenance on the beaters and premature beater wear so you will either have weld on the beaters or rebalanced beaters etc. Make sure you keep the web chains tightened to manufacture specifications. Check the gearbox oil levels and use the recommended oils.
Do the same thing on your bale shredders keep the net wrap cleaned off the hammers and keep the hammers good. A result of too much net wrap can take longer costing you more in labor and tractor hours.
If you are in the right position, keep your eyes open for good deals and cheap interest rates, if you need to add to your operation. Consider a bigger manure spreader to reduce loads and labor. Consider checking into a bigger feeder wagon for more capacity and better mixing. But most of all keep your head up, keep your options open and don’t get in a rut with this pandemic. Keep trying to be as efficient as possible. If you have time right now and would like to demo something for a future purchase, do not be afraid to give us a call to try it out and check out the options. Give us a call for all your parts and service needs and remember you are not in this alone, we are here to help in any way we can! Stay safe and keep the FAITH!