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Blizzard & Extreme Cold

All Blizzard & Extreme Cold Content

SDSU Extension Winter Wheat Variety trials. One plot is showing more yellowing and stress than other plots.

Low Temperature Effects on Winter Wheat

Low temperatures during the early morning hours of May 9–11, 2020 may have had detrimental effects on winter wheat in some areas of South Dakota. However, cooler spring temperatures that have slowed the winter wheat development this year may have actually been beneficial to S.D. producers, as later-maturing wheat is not as susceptible to injury from freezing temperatures.

A planting of alfalfa.

Effects of Late Spring Frost on Alfalfa

Forage research indicates that, although alfalfa is considered to have good cold temperature tolerance, minor frost damage may occur when plants are exposed to air temperatures slightly below freezing for several hours, and more severe damage will be seen when temperatures drop below 25°F for four or more hours.

Young corn plants emerging in a field during early spring.

Corn Emergence During Cold Weather

After a very welcome warm and relatively dry April, the month of May has brought winter-like temperatures again to South Dakota. Due to cold and wet conditions, concerns of the cold temperatures have been expressed by producers who have recently planted corn.

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.

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.