The frigid windchills may be keeping a few people indoors over the next few days, but for ranchers, it's important to care for those that don't always have that luxurycattle.

Caring for livestock in sub-zero temperatures is a much harder task, because they require things like flowing water and proper feed to maintain energy. During these harsh conditions, keeping equipment running to feed cattle can also be a challenge. John Dhuyvetter is a Livestock Systems Specialist at the North Central Research Extension Center.

He says these are things that most ranchers already know, but they're always important to remember.

(John Dhuyvetter, NCREC Livestock Systems Specialist) "Cattle feel the windchill just as we do, and so it's important that they're able to get behind some windbreak fence, some bale piles, shelter belts, and that will take a lot of the stress off them just to be out of the wind."

In addition to cattle, winter crops can also feel the effects of harsh weather, but fortunately, added snow isn't necessarily a bad thing.

(Jeremy Pederson, NCREC Area Extension Specialist) "I know our winter wheat at the station here has been under snow-cover pretty much since the first part of November, so we're really not too worried about it. We went into some flax stubble that had been direct harvested, cut pretty high, so we've got pretty good snow insulation out there, so things should be in pretty good shape really."

Pederson says most winter crops spend the fall season building energy reserves, so this time of year, they're usually tough enough to handle the frigid weather.

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