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Blizzard & Extreme Cold

All Blizzard & Extreme Cold Content

ice covered buildings and trees

Power Outages and Food in Your Freezer

South Dakota is no stranger to power outages and power surges from blizzards, ice storms and related weather conditions. If the power in your area has experienced intermittent or complete loss of electrical power, or power surges, check all freezers occasionally to be sure they work properly.

A small herd of cattle grazing in snow-covered, spring pasture.

Bunch the Cow Herd

Reproduction is one of the biggest drivers of economic success. Cows stressed by cold, wind, snow, and mud will put energy resources into body condition maintenance and lactation prior to recycling.

herd of cattle in a muddy feedlot with serious flooding. FEMA News Photo

Dealing With Spring Mud and Flooding

As the snow melts, we are going to be left to deal with mud at a minimum and extensive flooding as a possible worst-case scenario. While we can’t control the pace of melting or the possibility of additional precipitation, we may be able to take a few steps to mitigate the negative impacts.

small group of cattle and a young calf being moved away from a flooded area. FEMA News Photo

Managing Cow/Calf Pairs With Excess Spring Moisture

Rain, snow and warming temperatures are making their way again this winter as future forecasts indicate another wet spring. However, with last year’s flooding we’re a little wiser on how to tackle the predicted flooding.

A South Dakota Mesonet station in a snow-covered field.

SDSU Extension and South Dakota Mesonet team up to release the Livestock Stress Tool

February 07, 2020

Weather conditions in the Northern Plains can present many challenges for livestock producers. Farmers and ranchers need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions to provide the best care for their livestock and minimize their risk of losses.

Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Animal Health, Blizzard & Extreme Cold

cattle out on a snowy white day

Winter Cow Supplementation Options

Cold temperatures coupled with wind chill and precipitation make it challenging to meet a cow’s nutrient requirements during the winter months.

A South Dakota Mesonet station in a snow-covered field.

Livestock Stress Tool

Weather conditions in the Northern Plains can present more than a few challenges for livestock producers. From below zero or blizzard conditions during winter or even spring, to heat waves in the summer months, farmers and ranchers need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions to provide the best care for their livestock and minimize their risks of losses.

Holstein Dairy Calves lying in fresh straw, wearing calf blankets to help keep warm.

Managing Un-Weaned Dairy Calves During Cold Weather

Winter can present extra challenges for dairy producers and heifer growers as they try to keep calves alive and growing adequately in frigid temperatures.

A map of the Big Sioux River Basin.

Big Sioux River Flood Information System Sees Heavy Use During Spring 2019

The Big Sioux River Flood Information System is the result of a combined effort between the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local governments, and private industry, to create a product that can be used to predict the impact of flood events in the Big Sioux River Basin.

A close shot of a black and red cow's face. A blurred white cow's head is in the foreground.

Lingering Health Effects in Cows and Bulls Following a Harsh Winter and Spring

While mortality directly due to harsh winter weather is much more likely in calves rather than adult cattle, older animals can be affected too, and some of those effects might linger into the days of better weather and warmer temperatures.