Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers are encouraging farm families who raise livestock, especially those in southern and southeast Iowa, to monitor the weather and the health and safety of their livestock as another round of ice and snow approaches Iowa.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warming and an ice storm warning to go in effect at 6 p.m. December 10 for portions of central, southern and eastern Iowa. Forecasters say freezing rain, sleet and snow is likely in the southern part of the warned area especially locations to the south and east of Ottumwa. Ice could accumulate up to 1 inch in the warned area with lighter amounts in central and eastern Iowa.
A light amount of ice combined with up to 3 to 5 inches of snow is expected across west central, central and eastern Iowa.
Take precautions, and call if you need help
"It is important for farmers across the state to take the necessary precautions for the severe weather conditions being predicted," says Northey. "Livestock producers in particular need to make sure they are able to continue caring for their animals in case they lose power for a few days."
Livestock farmers can prepare for the storm by making sure generators are accessible, ready and in good working condition. Farmers are also urged to make sure livestock have plenty of feed and water and to have reserve supplies if needed.
There may become a critical need by livestock farmers for generators to power environmental controls and supply water for livestock in the affected counties. In this event, contact the Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985.
Farmers should also contact their local Farm Service Administration office to notify the office of storm related damage, livestock losses and any critical needs as soon as possible. All public safety related emergencies should still be directed to the county sheriff's office.