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7 winter listens for livestock farmers

Mother Nature can make raising livestock a challenge in the winter. Here are seven Successful Farming listens with tips for staying safe and maximizing efficiency in the coldest months of the year.

1. Managing snow in the feedlot

Today’s snow is tomorrow’s mud. The sooner you can remove snow from feedlot pens, the easier it is to manage. Warren Rusche is an extension beef feedlot management associate at South Dakota State University and offers a few practical tips.

2. Can your barn roof handle the snow?

A thick layer of snow on your outbuildings can cause structural problems. How much snow can a roof handle? Extension engineer Kevin Janni from the University of Minnesota shares how to figure it out.

3. Reducing cold stress in cattle

When the weather isn’t fit for man nor beast, it’s up to you to protect the beast. Extension beef specialist from Iowa State University, Russ Euken explains how to reduce cold stress in cattle.

4. Monitoring winter manure storage

Severe cold and heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on a farm’s manure storage structures and pumping equipment. Environmental extension specialist Erica Rogers from Michigan State University talks about reducing the risk for spills or leaks.

5. Winter disease control in pigs

Disease control is a challenge for hog producers in winter. Have a consistent biosecurity program and good communication with your veterinarian. Paul Sundberg of the Swine Health Information Center shares more insight.

6. Winter manure spreading

It’s common practice for farmers to spread manure on fields in the winter. But doing it right depends on field topography, weather patterns, and common sense. Nutrient management and water quality extension manager Christina Curell from Michigan State University shares tools that help farmers look at future weather patterns and determine their risk.

7. Insulating a livestock water tank

Preventing water tanks from freezing is a challenge for livestock owners in the winter months. Insulation around the tank may help keep the water open. Greg Lardy from North Dakota State University offers a few tips.

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