In a few weeks, baling and harvesting will be wrapping up on Irish farms, so it's important to ensure that once you're storing the combine or baler away that you do it properly to avoid problems the next time you take it out.

Anytime you store your farm machinery for an extended period of time, even a few months, it’s smart to first take the time to make sure it’s cleaned, maintained, and properly protected, according to the John Deere tips notebook.

A little effort at storage time will make start-up easier and help your equipment last longer and perform better, it advises.

Storage procedures for every piece of equipment will be a little different, but there are some general tips on the best steps to take for when you're putting the combine or baler back in the shed;

  1. Clean it with a high-pressure washer, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies where dirt can hide.
  2. Check for worn parts including belts and hoses, loose bolts, leaks, electrical connections, hydraulics, etc.
  3. Now is the time to repair and replace, rather than when you want to start up again and experience a problem, while the work you need to do goes undone.
  4. Protect any scratched up areas on metal decks and housings to prevent rust. Paint works. Wax might be a good option in certain areas.
  5. Check all fluid levels and filters and follow your operator’s manual instructions for storage and maintenance.
  6. Now is great time to remove and sharpen or replace blades on cutting equipment. Some require specialised skills or equipment.
  7. Check tires for wear and damage. Make sure they’re inflated to storage specification.
  8. For implements like blades, ploughs, pushes, tillage tools, etc. all the ground-working components should be thoroughly cleaned and coated with a lubricant or other protective coating to prevent rust.
  9. Lubricate all moving parts and check all grease points and if possible, store your equipment in a shed and under a tarp to protect it from the elements.
  10. Lastly, always check the operator’s manual for each piece of equipment for any special instructions on extended storage. Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.

How you put your tools away will determine the condition you find them in when you need to use them next time, it recommends.