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Feeling hot, hot, hot! How you can protect your farm from the scorching summer sun

July’s heat wave showed how our temperate, possibly temperamental, weather system can cause disruption to many, regardless of the industry or location they live in. While farmers have had to cope with a lottery of weather forecasts for years, there is no gamble when deciding to protect key assets, machinery or stock.

As our climate changes and significant weather events become more regular, County Insurance Services, an Orion approved supplier for insurance, are recommending a number of measures farmers can take to protect their assets. These include:

  • Consider only running machinery on especially hot days if it’s really necessary. Dried foliage, grass and crops all provide a tinderbox effect if a spark hits them. Hot temperatures can also put your employees at risk if they’re operating hard working machinery

  • Regularly clean out machinery, dust traps, attachments and any other item that could be exposed to heat or sources of ignition. If it’s a really blowy/dusty day then you will need clean these more regularly during the day

  • Make sure fire extinguishers are in as many vehicles as possible and receive an annual service These could stop a total loss or limit the damage

  • If you have a spare tractor, attach cultivation equipment to it so that you can create a fire break if a fire starts in that field.

  • Fill a water bowser and have it on standby nearby or at base to prevent larger losses.

  • Be aware of crop height and cutting height to avoid flicking up stones that could cause sparks

  • Keep water bottles in cabs – not just for hydrating drivers; these can also prevent overheating of kit.

  • Download the free what3words app to a mobile to give emergency services exact locations.

 

Fenella Cook, an Account Handler at County and Orion Farm Group member, said: “Its all about regular maintenance and keeping on top of things. As temperatures cool on an evening, give your machine a clean and perform maintenance as necessary. This will often prevent problems, and claims, from happening”.

She added: “While some of the tips seem time consuming they can save both time and money should things start going wrong and can help ameliorate the effect a fire could have on your farm”.

Weather events are not just heat related. Storms Dudley, Eunice & Franklin earlier this year collectively cost insures £500million in approximately 177,000 attributable claims. While we await the claims amounts from the recent heatwave its clear that weather events like these need careful planning and risk management to avoid catastrophe.

To find out more about what County can offer Orion members please contact Oliver on 01865 290916