Just look out the window and you can tell it is very cold out there. Sub-zero temps in Indiana are warm by comparison to other areas of the corn belt. Last week, the temperature dipped to minus 40 degrees at International Falls, and that was just a taste of what arrived in the Midwest this weekend. “This is some of the coldest air we have seen since 1996,” said Mike Tannura with T weather in Chicago. He says lows this week will put considerable stress on livestock, “We will see temperatures from minus 15 to minus 30 degrees in parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Temperatures could dip to minus 40 degrees in parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas.” He added, with the wind chill, actual air temperatures could reach 50 – 60 degrees below zero. This will put significant stress on livestock in these areas. In the western wheat areas, winter kill is possible, “Temperatures in parts of Nebraska and Kansas will drop to zero or minus 10 degrees but a lack of snow cover will expose the wheat crop to damage.”
Lack of snow cover is not a problem in the eastern Corn Belt. Heavy snow has fallen and continues to fall across much of the eastern half of the US. Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Rob Wasson forecasts that “Blowing and drifting snow will be a problem for travelers across the state on Monday along with dangerously cold temperatures. Livestock owners should monitor animals closely for severe cold stress. Ample water sources and shelter should be provided as Indiana sits under a deep freeze for the next several days.” More snow and a continuation of the bitter cold is forecast for later in the week. “Another round of snow will be possible late Wednesday and into Thursday. Temperatures at the end of the week won’t be as cold, but will keep the snow on the ground through the weekend. The extended two week forecast calls for seasonal temperatures and above average precipitation statewide,” said Wasson.
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