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Top 10 Tips for Getting Summer Ready on the Ranch

As summer approaches, ranchers must prepare for the unique challenges and opportunities the season brings. From ensuring the health and safety of livestock to maintaining equipment and infrastructure, several key steps are needed to get your ranch ready for the warmer months. Read on for essential tips to help you prepare your ranch for a successful and productive summer.

1. Review and Update Your Grazing Plan

Summer often means lush pastures, but it also requires careful management to prevent overgrazing and maintain pasture health. Review your grazing plan to ensure it accommodates your livestock’s increased growth and nutritional needs. Rotate grazing areas to give pastures time to recover and consider using temporary fencing to manage grazing intensity effectively.

2. Ensure Adequate Water Supply

With rising temperatures, it’s crucial to ensure that your livestock has constant access to clean and fresh water. Check all water sources for functionality and cleanliness, including ponds, streams, and troughs. If necessary, install automatic waterers or water tanks and regularly inspect them for any issues. Consider adding shade structures near water sources to encourage animals to drink more often.

3. Maintain and Check Equipment

Summer is a busy time on the ranch, so ensuring your equipment is in top condition is essential. Conduct thorough inspections of all machinery, including tractors, mowers, and balers. Replace worn-out parts and perform routine maintenance, such as oil changes and lubrication. Properly functioning equipment will save time and prevent costly breakdowns during peak season.

4. Prepare for Pest and Parasite Control

Warm weather can bring an increase in pests and parasites that can affect the health of your livestock. Develop a pest control plan that includes regular monitoring and treatment. Use fly traps, sprays, and other pest management tools to keep flies and insects at bay. Implement a deworming schedule and check animals regularly for signs of parasites.

5. Inspect and Repair Fencing

Strong, secure fencing is vital to keeping your livestock safe and contained. Walk the perimeter of your property to inspect all fencing for damage or wear. Repair any broken or weak sections and reinforce areas prone to livestock pressure. Consider using electric fencing for temporary containment or to protect sensitive areas.

6. Enhance Shade and Shelter

Providing adequate shade and shelter is crucial for preventing heat stress in livestock. Ensure that all animals can access shaded areas through natural tree cover or man-made structures like barns and shade cloths. Inspect and maintain existing shelters to ensure they are clean, well-ventilated, and capable of providing relief from the sun.

7. Stock Up on Supplies

Summer can be unpredictable, so having essential supplies on hand is critical. Stock up on feed, minerals, veterinary supplies, and other necessities to avoid shortages during busy times. Keeping an inventory of supplies will help you manage resources more efficiently and ensure that your animals’ needs are always met.

8. Plan for Emergencies

Emergency preparedness is a crucial aspect of summer readiness. Develop a plan for dealing with potential issues such as wildfires, severe weather, or health emergencies. Ensure all family members and employees know the plan and their roles in an emergency. Keep emergency contact numbers readily available and ensure that first aid kits are well-stocked and accessible.

9. Monitor Livestock Health

Summer heat can take a toll on livestock health, so regular monitoring is essential. Watch for signs of heat stress, such as excessive panting, lethargy, or decreased feed intake. Implement cooling measures, such as misting systems or fans, to help keep animals comfortable. Schedule regular health checks and vaccinations to prevent disease outbreaks.


Preparing your ranch for summer involves proactive planning, regular maintenance, and vigilant monitoring. By taking these essential steps, you can ensure that your livestock remains healthy, your equipment operates smoothly, and your ranch runs efficiently throughout the season. Embrace the opportunities summer offers and set your ranch up for a successful and productive summer.

Find your nearest dealer for insight and tips on your specific operation.

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