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Winter Preparedness on Dairy Farms

November 5, 2013

Source: South Dakota State University Extension

Portions of South Dakota have unfortunately already experienced the first blizzard of the season. Following Winter Storm Atlas, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist, Tracey Renelt urges dairy producers to prepare sooner than later for winter.

Renelt provides dairy producers with a winter check list to help them prepare for winter.

In and around the barn:

* Take the time to pick up the yard of any items that may become buried under a snow bank or may become entangled in a snow blower.

* Put up appropriate snow fence or snow breaks in yards for protection and minimizing of drifts in areas where they are not wanted.

* Consider bringing in any necessary fill or mounding areas that become muddy or troublesome spots in the spring.

* Check curtains on barns to make sure they are operating properly.

* Check any minimum ventilation fans, in particular, to make sure they are functioning properly (i.e. belts tight, blades clean)

* Inspect and repair building roofs and rafters, making sure there is no loose tin or cracked rafters present.

* Do preventative trimming of trees around barns, driveways and fences.

* Move calf hutches to areas that are accessible in the winter and provide wind protection for livestock.

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