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More Arctic Weather for Kentucky Next Week Causing Stress for Livestock Farmers

Franzfoto, Wikimedia Commons

Kentuckians should prepare for yet another round of Arctic-like weather early next week. That's the opinion of University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Matt Dixon. Dixon says, while the Commonwealth has already experienced a couple shots of frigid weather this winter, the longer term outlook appears to be chilly as well.

“Looking farther out at the outlook, they’re all showing below normal temperatures into early February.  So, we’re looking at the colder weather, colder conditions to stick around through early February, so try to stay warm,” said Dixon.The deep freeze making repeated visits to the Commonwealth this winter is putting livestock at risk of serious injury or even death.  Dixon says it’s not always the bitter cold that causes a risk for cattle and horses.  He says frozen ponds can create a serious safety risk.

“A couple of weeks ago, they actually had an incident where a horse walked out onto an ice covered pond and fell through and had to be rescued, so the livestock cold stress in addition to these ice covered ponds are two of the primary concerns when it comes to agriculture,” said Dixon.

Dixon says this winter the livestock cold stress index has already hit the most severe ‘emergency’ level.  He says it’s likely to be in that category again early next week.  The meteorologist advises farmers to make sure they provide adequate shelter, feed, water, and bedding.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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