For the past several weeks much of the U.S. has been battered by a series of storms that have brought bitter cold and heavy snow. In particular the Northwest, Northern Plains and Upper Midwest have been hard hit according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey, which has made it tough on farmers in those areas.
"Even more so for livestock, it's been very difficult conditions," Rippey says. "Not only have we seen the bitter cold conditions and the wind, but we've seen the heavy snow, so it's tough for both the producers and the livestock to get around in those kind of conditions."
Wheat farmers are fairing a bit better as most fields have a layer of snow protecting them from the wind and subzero temperatures.
"The one area that we are a bit concerned with is western Nebraska and northeastern Colorado," Rippey say. "The good news is the wheat in that area was pretty well established going in, which makes it a little less susceptible and it usually takes a series of extreme weather events to kill off a wheat crop."