Iowa livestock farmers manage subzero temperatures

Iowa entered 2018 with subzero temperatures. The National Weather Service reported a Jan. 1 record temperature in Dubuque of 21 degrees below zero (-29 Celsius). Wind chills on the first two days of the year reached negative 30 degrees (-34 Celsius).

Dairy farmer Wayne Kramer told the Telegraph Herald that his livestock needs to be partially protected from the frigid conditions on his rural Farley farm. He said the cold weather can make cows uncomfortable and cut into productivity.

“They are just like humans in the sense that they move a little slower when it gets cold,” said Kramer. “If they get too cold, they will eat less and drink less, and that can affect their milk production.”

Kramer moves his cows indoors to be milked. He said it’s important to dry the teats after milking because that part of the cow is susceptible to freezing.

Livestock farmer Craig Recker said he isn’t as concerned with the low temperatures. He said the wind poses a threat to his cattle in New Vienna.

Recker said it’s critical to give cattle adequate bedding. He uses corn stalk fodder, and makes sure it stays dry and doesn’t freeze over.

“When they have good, deep bedding, it really helps them generate their own heat,” Recker said.

Annette Eggers, manager of Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau, said severe winter conditions can be taxing on farmers.

“They are continuing on with their everyday chores, plus they are dealing with additional challenges like clearing snow or fixing frozen waterers,” she said.

Eggers suggested wearing extra layers and taking brief breaks indoors to stay warm.


Any claim arising from the information contained on the eDairy News website shall be submitted to the competence of the ordinary courts of the First Judicial District of the Province of Cordoba (Primera Circunscripción Judicial de la Provincia de Cordoba), Republic of Argentina, in the city of Córdoba, excluding any other jurisdiction (Federal jurisdiction is also excluded).


Criteria in the moderation of comments that eDairy News will take into consideration in all its publications.

  • They will not be considered insults of any kind against anyone,, whether a user, moderator or publisher. Complaints made with the name and surname of the author of the commentary will only be accepted after confirmation by the moderator.
  • Unsubstantiated and gratuitous destructive criticism or expressions of bad taste, whether offensive, racist or xenophobic.
  • SPAM, (Insert links to web pages not related to the subject, provide emails, etc...)
  • Comments that are meaningless with the footnote or the dairy sector.

Related posts