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Blizzard & Extreme Cold

All Blizzard & Extreme Cold Content

A downed rural power line following an ice storm.

Caring for Animals When the Power Goes Out

Power outages bring with them a different set of circumstances to every animal operation. Questions about animal care and animal health products in the midst of electricity loss should be directed to your veterinarian.

Brown Swiss Dairy Calf, lays outside calf hutch in straw bedding with blue calf coat on, sunning itself in the winter sunshine.

Winter Preparedness on the Dairy Farm

Weather this time of year can change in a hurry. So how many of you as dairy producers have heeded the warning and taken the time to prepare for the upcoming winter?

Skidloader outside being used to turn compost pile.

Guidelines for Livestock Carcass Disposal in South Dakota

Everyone who works with animals tries their best to keep all animals alive. In turn, they also know there will always be normal mortality. Proper carcass disposal is crucial in preventing the spread of disease and protecting the environment.

Two producers inspecting a dairy barn.

Emergency Preparedness on Dairies

Being prepared for an emergency on your dairy can significantly improve recovery time from an unexpected incident.

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.