General Articles

3 Areas For Improving Farming Profitability

In the past, when commodity markets were high, farmers were able to simply enjoy the task of farming and let the crops fall where they may in terms of profitability. Now, a turn in the economic condition has created a lot of stress for farmers, who struggle more than ever to remain profitable. To help manage these challenges, here are a few steps you can take.

Start With Staffing

There is a lot of work to be done on the farm, but if you paying for work that doesn’t bring both efficiency and quality, it can be more damaging then helpful. The h2a guest worker program is one way to approach the labor needs for your farm, but you also need to consider offering benefits, incentives, or other attractive options to keep skilled employees who can understand and help you reach your profit goals.

Reduce Overall Input Costs

You may have had the same contracts with vendors for the past few years, and your arrangement has been comfortable. However, the bottom line is reducing input costs. It might be time to start shopping for bids or renegotiating the conditions of your contracts. There are many things that might seem to be beneficial to your venture, such as earning loyalty status or vendor appreciation gifts, but looking at the costs according to what value you are receiving, it might be time to make a switch.

Improve Your Efficiency

Decision-making can’t be occurring along the same line of thinking as when you first got started. The Ag industry is rapidly changing, and you need to be prepared and adapt quickly. Improve your communication processes, and consider using management software to help make better decisions.

As everyone seems to know, a business is judged according to its leadership and output, and farming is no different. If you want to remain profitable in a time where most small farms struggled, assess your current situation and look for ways to tighten your budget and improve efficiency.

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General Articles

2 Tips for Transforming Your Back Yard


Fresh air, green space and time to relax and enjoy your friends and family are all key elements for mental health and a balanced lifestyle. Unfortunately, far too few folks take advantage of the outdoor space available to them in their own backyards. Whether you’re in a spacious rural setting or have a more limited urban balcony set-up, you can transform your outdoor space to create a beautiful, restful haven for fresh air, fun and good times. Here are three simple ideas to get you started.

Wind Down With Water

When it comes to relaxation, there’s just nothing better than the gentle sound of a babbling book or the soft ripple of the wind over a pond. For those with space limitations, a small fountain unit will be the most convenient option. While not as visually impactful as a larger installation, it’s totally worthwhile to have that soothing sound for backyard serenity. If you’re fortunate enough to a little more space for larger water works, be sure to check in with service providers in your area about any maintenance needs. There will certainly be experts in your area to guide you through the ins and outs of considerations such as aquatic weed control.

Seize the Seasons

While the summertime naturally lends itself to barbecues, lawn games and general outdoor relaxation, don’t deprive yourself of the wind in your hair and the sounds of nature during the off seasons! Autumn breezes and early spring flowers are simple pleasures you shouldn’t miss out on. There are plenty of accessories and design options for weather-proofing your backyard base camp. Don’t sell yourself short. Equip your porch, patio or backyard for four season festivity!

Turning your backyard into a relaxation station doesn’t need to bust your budget or involve intensive planning or stressful discussions with designers and contractors. These two simple but high-impact transformations are all it takes to set you on the path to outdoor rest and relaxation!…

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General Articles

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

If you run a business that relies on refrigeration equipment to one extent or another, then you don’t need to be told that proper care and maintenance of the equipment is crucial. Here’s a quick overview of the most important tasks that should be on your running to-do list. Which ones do you have your staff on top of?

1. Clean It Thoroughly and Regularly

When you’re running a business, it’s a given that you’re insanely busy on an ongoing basis, but you don’t want to fall behind on your cleaning routine. Ideally, your commercial refrigeration unit should be cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom and inside out at least once every two weeks, although once or twice every week is even better. Schedule your cleanings on a calendar or whiteboard to make sure they’re never overlooked by staff.

2. Check Each Component Often

Every piece of commercial equipment should be given a once-over now and again to make sure all of its components are in good working order. Like cleanings, these checks can be scheduled to ensure they’re done often enough. The condenser coil should be checked and cleaned at least once every two or three months. Air filters, gaskets, and evaporator coils should be monitored on an ongoing basis.

3. Address Problems Promptly

Sooner or later, every unit will need to be serviced by a professional, so make sure you have a good commercial refrigeration Minneapolis MN professional on speed dial. Address potential issues, repairs, or part replacements promptly. Speak to your service professional about scheduling regular maintenance visits as well. This will really raise the chances of a problem being spotted before it affects your business.

When your livelihood depends on the integrity of your commercial equipment, it’s important to treat that equipment right. It will be sure to reward you with many years of excellent service.…

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General Articles

Tips for an Organized Kitchen

It is more than appliances and sacks of flour; the kitchen is the heart of the home and a gathering spot for the whole family. Give your kitchen a good purging and reorganize it in a way that makes sense. However you use it, your home needs to be functional for you and your family.

Empty All Cabinets (Yes, All)

To save yourself from going mad, start with one cabinet at a time. Take everything out and dust the shelves, spraying them with an all-purpose cleaner and janitorial cleaning rags. Have a donation box on standby for things you no longer want or use, asking yourself as you touch each item:

  • Do I use this?
  • Is it functional?
  • Will I miss it if I get rid of it?
  • Replace Items in a Sensical Order

  • It can be a juggling act if you have a large family and little space when you’re refilling your cabinets. Follow some simple tips for logically fitting things back inside of them:
  • Dishes that you use daily should be placed in a central cabinet that is easily accessible. Bonus points if it’s a cabinet that is also close to the sink and/or dishwasher.
  • Avoid stacking items on top of other items: For example, don’t place a stack of salad plates on top of dinner plates. It doesn’t make sense to have to move the smaller ones to get to the larger ones every time you set the table
  • If you have the wall space, buy some hooks for things like mixing spoons, tongs and whisks. Hanging these items saves room in the drawer and keeps them easily within reach while you’re cooking.

Even though it might never look Pinterest-perfect, your kitchen is one room in the house that needs to have some semblance of organization. Get it back under control to make it work better for everyone!…

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Steps to Successfully Sell Your Home


Selling your home can be an exciting time, especially if you’re ready to move into your forever home and need to sell your current home fast. If this is your first time selling a home, however, you might not know where to begin. Selling your home doesn’t have to be an intimidating or complicated process, especially if you know what steps to follow. Here are some steps to help making selling your home a success so you don’t have to stress about having two mortgages.

Find a Realtor

Your first to sell your home is to find a good realtor. You’ll want to start by telling them, “I want to sell my home mount dora fl,” and then set up an appointment to have them come take a look at your home. Realtors are often a great way to get your home in front of the right audience and get it the exposure it needs to sell, so don’t overlook this valuable step.

Nix the Clutter

Over the years, clutter can accumulate around the home, making it look a bit overwhelming to potential homebuyers. To save yourself some time during your move and make your home look attractive to potential homebuyers, you should spend some time clearing out the excess clutter around your home. Doing this can make your home look clean and fresh to people when they’re viewing your home.

Be Patient

One of the most important things to note when selling your home is that it’s a process and may not sell overnight. The good news is that your home will eventually sell if you work with the right realtor and properly stage your home. Having a little patience is a good thing to keep in mind so you don’t go crazy worrying.

These quick tips can help you during the selling process and ensure that the home selling process goes smoothly.…

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General Articles

How to Choose the Right Contractor


When you get ready to remodel your home, build a new garage, or start a project that requires the assistance of a contractor, you will want to have a solid plan in place. By knowing the details ahead of the build, you will have more understanding of what you need from your contractor and can make the right hire.  These are some general tips for hiring a quality contracting company.

Start With a Referral

If you are looking for general contractors Halifax residents have experience with, start by asking friends and family for referrals. This is the best way to really see the quality of someone’s work. Once they give you a name, go online and read their reviews before deciding to schedule a meeting.

Prepare Your Plan

Your time with a contractor should not be a wasted chat of pleasantries. Have a detailed plan about what you are looking to have built, and include your budget and your timeline. Your contractor might be the best, but they might not have the time for your project. The more information you can present, the better the contractor can give you an honest estimate and accurate bid. However, don’t always go with your first interview. Get at least three bids before choosing your contractor.

Cross Your I’s and Dot Your T’s

While you are interviewing your contractor, check on their license and insurance. This will protect everyone involved with the build. Carefully read proposal contracts and bids before signing them, and clarify questions about warranties on the work or guarantees. Also be sure to apply for the proper permits and inspections required by local codes. Make sure your paperwork is complete and in order throughout the process.

With the right contractor, you can turn your dream of a new patio or backyard shed into a reality. Whatever your building project might entail, choose your contractor carefully so you can enjoy the building process and be pleased with the final result.…

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General Articles

Most Irritating Invasive Aliens

There’s no getting away from the unexpected consequences of introducing a new plant or animal in the age of global travel and trade. Whether it’s an ornamental plant that escaped its pot or a bug that hitched a ride in a box of bananas, invasive species are a part of modern life. They can be downright dangerous, but the ones that we notice most are frequently the irritating rather than deadly ones. Here are a few of the most annoying invasive aliens introduced to the US.

Stink Bugs

When waves of buzzing stinking beetles swept through America, many people went running to seek stink bug pest control only to find that there wasn’t much to be done. The Brown marmorated stink bug didn’t have any natural predators and could squeeze through the smallest cracks to make their way into your home. They smelled like concentrated cilantro, left brown spots on fruit in orchards, and stains on curtains and lampshades.

Kudzu

Kudzu is such a defining feature of the South, it’s hard to remember that it’s not native to the area, but “the vine that ate the South” was introduced to the area in the 30s as a way for farmers to help control erosion. It spreads fast and grows quickly, sometimes as much as a foot a day, and is immune to most herbicides. It’s hard to find anywhere in the South that hasn’t been completely swamped by the vine.

Pigeons

Pigeons are one of the great annoyances of city life. While some find them pretty and feed them in the parks, it can’t be denied that they’re not a natural part of the American ecosystem. Nuisances and disease vectors, making a mess with their nests and refuse, pigeons are as annoying an invasive as any other. They are a good example of how invasive species, over time, become an accepted part of life, not just an unavoidable irritant.…

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