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New Year’s resolutions – Farm Edition

At the beginning of the year, thousands of people place a list of resolutions on the fridge and think this is going to be the year. The year of getting fit, eating healthy, try something new, traveling, or maybe just being nice to others or getting organized. Have you ever thought of having a New Year’s resolution for your John Deere equipment? We have a list of resolutions that can easily be applied to your farm, ranch or lawn care equipment.

  • Maintenance – Bring your equipment for its yearly maintenance. This could include an oil change, hydraulic hoses checked or replaced, etc. This is just an easy way to reduce the time spent trying to fix something during your busy season.

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  • Inspections – while your equipment is in the shop, go ahead and have it inspected. Shoppa’s technicians may find an issue that could save you headaches in the future.
  • Stock up on oil, filters, and net wrap – Now is a great time to stock up on all your supplies such as oil, filters and net wrap. Not sure if you want to stock up? Well then check out our filter sale during the month of January.r4d087288_rrd
  •  Store your service manager’s number into your phone – I know this may sound like a weird resolution, but having your local service manager’s number stored into your phone could save you valuable time when you are broke down in a field.
  • Winterize your lawn mower – What a better way to get your lawn mower ready for the mowing season than to put all new blades, belts and getting an oil & filter change during the winter months? Getting this done as a New Year’s resolution will save you time and possible money later.

New Year’s resolutions offer a lot of benefits to a person whether it is health, finances, or just trying to be productive. All our New Year’s resolutions can help reduce potential stress, it’s always cheaper to buy in bulk and have everything maintained, and it will allow you to increase productivity. So, make sure you stop by your local Shoppa’s dealer to start your New Year’s resolution off right.

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My First Teal Hunt

“Have you ever been on a Teal hunt?” That was a question I got asked last week, and I am pretty sure what came out of my moth was “What is Teal?”. Growing up in Florida, my family hunted hogs, turkey and whitetail, but never duck. So, when Ben Anderson and his wife Ashley invited me to go on a Teal hunt with them, I jumped at the opportunity; even though I didn’t have a TX hunting license. But I did have my camera and that was good enough for me!  

When 4:45 am hit on Saturday, I was up, dressed, and out the door with my camera bag and cup of coffee ready to me the Andersons at 6 am in Lissie, TX. Once I met up with Ben, Ashley and a few of their friends, we were off to one of Ben’s rice fields that he had scoped out the evening before. By the time we got unloaded, drove the Gator to our spot, and got the decoys set up it was just about 7am. Barely able to see with all the fog and the sun just starting to light the sky, I put on my rubber boots, someone’s extra pair of water pants, and sat down in the middle of a road that separated 2 rice fields.  

I think everyone kinda expected to meet our limit of 30 Teal within an hour. Due to the fog, that “hour” quickly turned into 3, only shooting singles and doubles. For those of you who do not know, singles and doubles mean one or two birds flying together, not in a group. The group ended up getting 18 Teal and I had an absolute blast! Now do I get my hunting license or do I buy a pair of waders? Thanks Ben and Ashley for allowing me to tag along! 

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4 Tips to Help Cure the Summer Time Weeds

Its summer time! That means hot days, afternoon showers, and WEEDS! Those darn weeds. They are annoying and a pain in the rear end! Now, almost everyone has their own concoction to gets rid of weeds. Here is the problem though, a majority of the time, weeds come back! So how do you get rid of them?

Alan Jackson has the answer: there ain’t no cure for the summer time weeds! Ok, he may have not sang it exactly that way, but it’s true, there ain’t no cure. You can try your hardest to get rid of them, but they will always win. However, here are some tips and tricks to try to keep them under control!

  • Walk your flower beds every other week – Hand pulling weeds every other week is the best way to find and get rid of weeds at a young age. R2C005321
  • Herbicides –  Herbicides are an option but many individuals have issues with chemicals, as kids and pets could get into them. However, herbicides like Roundup are the only way to control weeds without physically pulling weeds. Sure, there are more holistic, less abrasive herbicides. The negative of these holistic herbicides is that they don’t kill weeds for an extended period of time, like herbicides.
  • Mulch your beds – Mulching your beds is a great way to reduce the amount of weeds popping up in your flower beds. However, only use bark based mulches. Any mulches with color are a wood based mulch. Once wood fiber mulches degrade, they suck up all the nitrogen from the soil, which is necessary for plants. r2c005471_edited_RRD
  • Don’t use fabric – Gardening fabric is not the best thing for your flower beds. After laying weed fabric, a plant’s roots will not grow down through the fabric as intended, where weeds do the complete opposite. So if you are considering fabrics, just don’t do it!

I know these tips don’t cure your garden and flowerbeds of weeds, but they can limit your summer time blues!

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Preparing for the Storm

June is the start of the six month hurricane season, and though the Texas Gulf Coast has not seen a major storm in nine years (Hurricane Ike), you never know when the next storm will hit. Here at Shoppa’s Farm Supply, we want you to be safe this season. I have gathered some tips that will help prepare you for a future storm.

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When your area comes under a storm watch defined as storm conditions possible within the next 48 hours, or a storm warning defined as storm conditions are expected within 36 hours, making sure your family is safe and ready for the storm is your number one priority! Be prepared with:

  • Disaster Supply Kit – including:
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Cash
    • First aid kits
    • Two weeks’ worth of non-perishable food and water, in case you are flooded in or power lines are down.
    • Copies of critical information such as birth certificates, social security cards, bank information, proof of insurance, etc. all in case of an evacuation.
  • Alert System – Be sure your family has some type of method to receive alerts on the storm such as text, email or radio. Check your county’s website to see if they have an email or text alert system.
  • Communications plan – Having walkie-talkies or cell phones allow for easy communications between family members, and to let them know where you are at.
  • Generator – A portable generator, like the John Deere AC-G3010H Small Frame Generator, can allow you to supply electricity to keep smaller electronic devices powered through the storm.

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Once your family is safe, prepare your property and livestock. Keep in mind:

  • Trees – Dead limbs or trees can fall down and cause property damage if not removed. Prepare yourself by keeping trees trimmed and removing any dead trees from the property, no matter the size. Trimming could also reduce your chances of down power lines that were a result of falling branches.
  • Water damage – Clear out ditches and rain gutters. If clogged, water could rise and flood fields, cause water damage to barns and homes along with road damage.
  • Down fences – Check fences for down wire, rotten post, etc. Down fences increase the risk of livestock getting tangled in fence lines and getting out onto roads.
  • Don’t put your animals in the barn – keeping your animals in barns increases their risk of injury or death. Structure damage or destruction is always a concern during a storm. Putting them a pasture or fenced area allows them to move away from debris.
  • Animal Feed – Keep a two week supply of feed in an elevated, dry area to reduce any chance of getting water damage. This allows you to keep you animals fed and happy.
  • Water – Install a handle pump at select wells to supply your livestock with fresh water. Livestock can die of dehydration due to limited supply of fresh water.

When the storm passes, you are safe to go back or come out of your home. Though safe from the storm; debris, down power lines and flood waters are dangerous and should be avoided when checking property. Take pictures of any property damage and safely cover areas to prevent any further damage. If you have any questions or would like more information on preparing for the storm, checkout these resources: