As severe weather threatens, Doug Goehring, North Dakota ag commissioner, urges state livestock producers to take precautions and make preparations.
“The National Weather Service is predicting blizzard conditions, sustained high winds and life-threatening wind chills Friday through Tuesday,” Goehring stated on Jan. 2. “Producers need to be sure their animals have shelter from the wind and access to adequate forage and water.”
The quality of rations is as important as the quantity, suggested Goehring and Susan Keller, the state veterinarian.
“This is the time to be feeding livestock the best forage you have,” the ag commissioner added. “The animals need highly digestible forage due to higher energy needs. It may be necessary to supplement those rations if current feed quality is a concern.”
Although North Dakota livestock are acclimated to extreme cold, it is important to provide them shelter from wind and have readily available feed close by to keep them from wandering or straying, Keller said.
Producers, too, should be extra careful while working outside, Goehring said. “The weather service is talking about wind chills capable of inducing hypothermia and frostbite in just a few minutes. Please check for weather forecasts for your area regularly and be careful.”
The National Weather Service predicts winds chills of 50 degrees below zero into the morning of Sunday, Jan. 5, and 60 below zero that night and into Monday morning. Hazardous travel conditions could be expected for much of the state.