Storm Diaz could put your crops and cattle in danger

Cattle and crops are in harm’s way as winter weather sweeps across the nation.

In the Northern Plains, cattle producers are expecting brutally cold temperatures plunging from -20 to -35 degrees. Producers in the South need to keep a close eye on their temperature-sensitive crops, including citrus, sugarcane, ornamentals, and nursery. Meteorologists are predicting this to be the nation’s coldest weather since February 2021.

Matt Makens, a Meteorologist with Cattle Fax, thinks the winter weather crop is the most at risk this week. He says currently, a lot of crops in the Plains lack a protective layer of snow to defend against these low temperatures. He says it is one thing when it is a three-hour flash freeze, but this is expected to be a multi-day hard freeze lasting until Christmas. He says the ongoing drought has not helped the crop build enough strength to withstand these conditions.

Commodity Weather Group says 20 percent of the crop is susceptible to winter kill through the week, including 45 percent of the Hard Red Winter Wheat crop.

Makens says the long-term forecast does not look promising with cold snaps predicted through March.