Optimising the family farm

4 Lawnmower Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by on 7-07-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Lawnmower Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

There are things that you do or fail to do that can shorten the service life of your lawnmower. This article discusses some of the common lawnmower maintenance mistakes that you should avoid making. Not Noticing Changes in Your Equipment Proper lawnmower maintenance may depend on how alert you are to the changes that occur in the performance of your mower. Such changes may signal the development of a problem.  For instance, the lawnmower may suddenly become very loud when you start it. Such a change may indicate that there could be a problem with its engine. Try to be observant as you use your lawnmower and investigate any strange changes in the way it sounds or performs its tasks. This will enable you to solve any problem before extensive damage is caused to the equipment. Paying Inadequate Attention to Equipment Cleanliness Another common lawnmower maintenance mistake that you should avoid making is letting your mower accumulate dirt for long periods. Any grime or dirt that stays on the parts of the lawnmower may create bigger problems over time. For instance, grass particles should be cleaned off as soon as possible after each mowing session so that they don’t create opportunities for rust to destroy the metallic parts of your mower. Not Asking for Expert Help Your lawnmower may last much longer if you get expert intervention when a problem is beyond your capacity to rectify. For instance, there are some maintenance tasks that many homeowners can perform easily, such as changing the fluids used to keep the mower running. However, some repair and maintenance tasks, such as replacing worn carburetor components, may require technical skills that a layperson may not possess.  Homeowners who don’t call for expert help in such complicated situations may create bigger problems as they attempt to fix problems that are beyond their ability to handle. Lack of Prompt Action Some people make the mistake of taking very long to do something about an anomaly that they have observed in their lawnmower. For instance, they may keep postponing repairing a rusted portion of the equipment. Such people may not know that any problem that is left unattended to for a long time may worsen rapidly to the extent of causing extensive damage to the equipment. It is very important that you take prompt action in case you detect any problem with your lawnmower. Some lawnmower problems can develop unexpectedly. Such problems may never compromise the service life of your lawnmower if you avoid the mistakes discussed above. Contact lawnmower professionals for additional advice on how to prolong the useful life of your lawn maintenance...

read more

What to Consider When Buying a Silage Wagon for Your Farm

Posted by on 5-05-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What to Consider When Buying a Silage Wagon for Your Farm

A silage wagon can make quick work of harvesting and then chopping feed and grain for your farm, and this type of wagon is a must-have for farms both large and small. As with any other piece of equipment that you might purchase for your farm, you’ll find a wide range of silage wagons from which to choose, so note a few things to consider before you buy. 1. Self-propelled versus towing A silage wagon is usually just towed behind a tractor, but some are also self-propelled; you don’t drive the wagons, but this added propulsion can reduce the wear and tear on your tractor. If you need a large wagon to handle the amount of grain you’ll be chopping, you might want to invest in a self-propelled model even if you have a heavy-duty tractor. This can ensure you don’t overload your tractor, and it can also make quicker work of pulling the silage wagon on a larger farm, as it may be easier for it to travel faster. 2. Tipper versus chute A tipper wagon allows you to unload the grain into a pit or spread it on the ground. If you’re unloading in a silo, you want a chute for better control. Be sure you note the unloading feature of a silage wagon and choose the one for your particular use. Also, if you do choose a tipper wagon, note that a side tipper is better for unloading in a trough whereas a back tipper will work better for a pit or for bins. 3. Speed of harvesting and carrying capacity You might notice that a silage wagon is advertised with its pickup speed; this refers to how quickly it can collect grain. This is important to consider for very large farms; you want a silage wagon you can easily pull behind your tractor but you also want one with a good pickup speed. This speed is affected by its cutting width and also the size of the wagon itself. The carrying capacity is also important; a larger capacity means you’ll need to return to your silo or trough less often to empty the silage wagon. However, you don’t want to overpay for a silage wagon that has a larger capacity than you will reasonably need. Consider the size of your farm and the overall weight of a wagon and choose something you can easily pull while still getting something large enough to make quick work of harvesting and...

read more

Making your Rainwater Pure and Safe for Drinking

Posted by on 1-01-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Making your Rainwater Pure and Safe for Drinking

Rainwater harvesting can be as simple as putting a barrel outside your house to catch water, or as complex as having rainwater tanks, roof washers and an elaborate filtration and purification system. The reason for purification of rainwater for potable use (i.e. indoor use) is that, even if water travels through the atmosphere straight to a clean tank, our atmosphere is no longer as unpolluted as it once was, hence the water cannot be used off-the-tank for drinking, cooking or bathing.  Once the water reaches the ground, it also absorbs minerals, heavy metals, faecal contaminants and other substances that make it hard and more unsafe for drinking. However, through simple filtration systems, you can enjoy the benefits of using soft and unpolluted rainwater in your home.  Step 1: Minimize contamination  Reducing the chances of exposure to contaminants is key if you intend to use your rainwater in the kitchen. Keep your rain water tanks clean – using opaque materials like coloured plastic, metal or wood will prevent light transmission and discourage bacterial and algal proliferation in the tank. Ensure that the top of your downspouts are fitted with fine mesh to prevent bugs, leaves and other debris from getting into the tank.  Keep the tank tightly sealed to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your stored water. You can use a diverter to redirect the first rainwater flush outside the tank, since it carries the highest number of contaminants. Installing a roof-washer can serve as the diverter – you can get commercially designed washers for $100-600 from the Australian Company SafeRain.  Step 2: Water purification Even with the above precautions, your rainwater is still not safe for kitchen use and must be purified to kill microbes and other contaminants. The following are some methods you can easily use in your home: Boiling – this is the best way to kill off disease-causing microbes in water. The water should be heated to a rolling boil and maintained in this state for at least one minute before allowing it to cool down. In high-altitude areas, keep the water boiling for at least three minutes since the boiling point of water will be lower. You can add very little salt to improve its taste for drinking.  Chemical disinfection – if you cannot boil for any reason, WHO recommends filtration prior to chemical treatment using any of the many chlorine- or iodine-based chemical purifiers available in the market. Filtration is as simple as passing water through a cotton piece of cloth before treatment, getting rid of any debris. However, chemical treatment may not eliminate all parasites, nor is it suitable for pregnant women or those with iodine hypersensitivity.  Water filters – commercial water filtration systems can be fitted in your kitchen sink and connected to the pump from your rainwater tank. There are many different types, so look for those whose filter sizes are less than 1 micron, as these will be effective against most microbes. You may have to add iodine after purification, since most systems do not exclude viruses because they are much smaller than bacteria and other common...

read more

Enhanced Features of New Tractor Models

Posted by on 7-07-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Enhanced Features of New Tractor Models

A tractor is one of the most helpful machines that you can have on your farm. If you are considering buying a new tractor, read on and find out which new features you should be on the lookout for. Better Engine Control Units (ECU) New tractors on the market such as those from Massey Ferguson now come with enhanced engine control units. The ECU will help you to lower the cost of servicing this tractor since it does not need replaceable parts like a diesel particulate filter to regulate emissions. Greater Driver Comfort Previously, driving a tractor meant enduring work conditions that offered very little comfort. This was because the suspension systems of these machines were not very effective in reducing the bounce that you would experience as you drove over uneven surfaces. The new tractors such as those manufactured by Massey Ferguson are changing all that. They have upgraded front suspension systems that reduce the fatigue that you would feel after working all day.  Clear Lines of Sight The new tractor models are streamlined and sleek. This compact build makes it easy for you to have a clear view of the work area. You therefore have no need to lean forward (and suffer back pain) in order to see where the tractor is heading. Programmable Speed Control The latest versions of tractors have buttons that you can push in order to control the speed range within which you want to drive. These buttons remove a significant amount of hassle out of driving a tractor since you do not have to keep shifting gears as you drive. Larger Display A feature that many tractor drivers are likely to appreciate is the larger display that the new tractors have. This large display makes it easy for you to tell at glance what speed you are travelling at, how many hours the tractor has clocked in service and other data relevant to the operations of the machine. Greater Hydraulic Power It is now possible to lift loads quickly with the addition of the load-sensing hydraulic pump. This pump quickly delivers lifting power and this easily dispels any fears one may have that the machine is being asked to take on more than it is capable of. Technology is improving at a very high rate and farm machines are benefiting from those advancements. Do not be left out. Buy a tractor that has the features above and your work will go on more easily and efficiently. Want to learn more? Contact a company like Massey Ferguson tractors sale to learn...

read more

Sugar And Spice Is Not So Nice: What To Feed A Diabetic Dog

Posted by on 5-05-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sugar And Spice Is Not So Nice: What To Feed A Diabetic Dog

Diabetes can be as debilitating for dogs as it can be for humans—fortunately, it can also be managed just as well. Although diabetes is a serious, even fatal condition if left untreated, with the right treatments and dietary restrictions your diabetic dog can live a life as long and happy as a perfectly healthy dog. Tailoring your dog’s diet to the requirements of the disease is crucial, and will require paying close attention to what you’re actually feeding your dog. Choosing an everyday dog food Take a close look at the ingredients in the food you feed your dog every day. If it’s a cheaper food, chances are it contains a lot of filler in the form of simple starches, which will break down into glucose during digestion and raise your dog’s blood sugar levels. Instead, choose a dog food containing the following nutritional staples: Protein: Ideally your dog food should contain a lot of lean meat, although some fat content is important. More meat also generally means less filler. Complex carbohydrates: The carbohydrate content of your dog’s food should be in the form of complex carbohydrates, such as oats and barley, as these will not cause the dangerous blood sugar spikes caused by simple carbohydrates such as rice and potato starch. Dietary fibre: Traditionally, foods high in dietary fibre have been recommended for diabetic dogs, but there is now some contention on the issue. High-fibre foods may be unsuitable for underweight dogs, and may cause unwanted weight loss in other dogs. High-fibre foods may also have some unpleasant side effects, such as flatulence and constipation. Consult with your vet on the best way to proceed. Dog foods specially formulated for diabetic dogs are also available. They can be expensive and hard to find, but they may be beneficial for severely diabetic dogs.  Timing your diabetic dog’s meals Most diabetic dogs will require daily insulin injections to replace the insulin that is not produced by their own bodies. Timing feeding times around these injections is important, as it helps keep your dog’s blood sugar levels stable. How you do this will largely depend on whether your dog needs one or two insulin injections a day – your vet will give you a detailed feeding structure tailored to your individual dog, but in most cases one of the following feeding schedules will be used: One insulin shot a day: One small meal in the morning, followed by the daily insulin shot. The main meal of the day is then served in the mid-afternoon. Two insulin shots a day: The first insulin shot is given after a moderately sized breakfast, with the second given after an evening meal of the same size. To treat or not to treat Withholding all treats from a diabetic dog is hardly necessary, but you should avoid giving your dog treats at random. Instead, treat your dog when his or her insulin shots are at their most effective (this is generally around 4-6 hours after injection, but will vary depending on the size, age and breed of your dog). You also need to closely monitor how much you treat your dog, as diabetic dogs are prone to obesity. No more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories should be in treat form. As for what kind of treats are suitable for...

read more

Properly Maintaining A Water Tank In Rural Australia

Posted by on 4-04-15 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For people living in rural areas of Australia, it is common to collect and store rainwater, as in the majority of cases, treated water is not available. This collection of rainwater is a common practice, although it is not without its hazards. While it is true to state that the rainwater that falls initially is pure, problems can arise if the tank that it is stored in is not properly maintained. This article looks at some of the dangers associated with a poorly maintained water tank, and offers some suggestions on how to keep your water tank in a good condition. Dangers Rainwater is collected from an area – usually a roof – and diverted into the tank to be stored for later use. If you do not have the correct equipment in place, this means that the water going into the tank could become contaminated. Some of the contaminates that can find their way into your tank include: Dropping from birds and other animals, such as possums, as they pass or rest on the roof used for collecting rainwater Contaminates from the roof material itself, such as lead based paint or bitumen roofing Small animals that have found their way into your water tank and died, if your tank is not properly sealed Microbes and pathogens that can enter the tank from other debris, such as leaves. Equipment It is always a good idea to fit a very high quality water filter to the access point of the tank. In most cases, this will prevent most contaminates from being present in the water you draw from the tank. First flush systems are also a good idea; this is when the first of the rainwater collected is diverted away from the tank, allowing the second flow of rainwater to enter. This will reduce the amount of contaminates entering the tank. If you cover all open ports to the tank with tight mesh, this will reduce the number of insects, such as mosquitos, from entering the tank. Maintenance Maintaining the tank is vital. Every few months, you should do the following: Clean the gutters and roof where the rainwater is collected Remove the branches of overhanging trees close to the collection area Check the condition of the mesh covering the open ports of the tank Visually check the inside of the tank for dead animals or insects You should also clean the tank every couple of years, removing the build up of sludge at the base of the tank. This can either be done by hand, or by using a siphoning hose and pump. For more information, check out companies such as Williams &...

read more