Winter has arrived early in Vermont, and the snow, cold and winds present particular challenges for Vermont farmers.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has compiled a list of reminders and resources for people involved in farming and working lands.
• Be prepared for power outages. A backup generator with enough fuel to run for extended periods is highly recommended.
• If it is safe to do so, shovel the snow off barn and house roofs, or contact a professional to do it. The weight of ice and rain-soaked snow can lead to a roof collapse.
• Apply sand or gravel to walkways used by workers or livestock.
• Charge cellphones and cameras. Keep flashlights, with batteries, handy.
• Pump and store adequate supplies of drinking water for humans and animals in case of power outages. For a list of Vermont water haulers: agriculture.vermont.gov/2018waterhaulers.
• Be prepared for delays on the road, including obstructed roadways, which may delay deliveries from suppliers.
• If milk trucks can’t get to farms, dairy farmers may run out of room to store milk, and should have a plan for disposing of it at a suitable location. Make sure to record the volume of milk.
• Be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to a week, with enough feed and water for livestock or moving them to a safer location, if necessary.