Subzero temps impact Iowa farms

By Joseph L. Murphy

With fresh snow on the ground and a steady polar wind blowing from the north, cattle contently fed on hay recently spread on the ground. Jim Koch, an Iowa Soybean Association member from Van Meter, worked with determination alongside his son Jeff while the subzero winter winds battered their faces. Jim Koch, now in his eighties, has seen weather like this many times during his farming career and that taught him how important food and water are to livestock on days like this.

Jim Koch walks through the cattle making sure that they are doing okay. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy)

Jim Koch walks through the cattle making sure that they are doing okay. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy)

“When it’s this cold the cattle need a lot of food to keep warm,” Jeff Koch said. “We check the water a couple times a day during the cold weather because it freezes over time.”

This scene was repeated at hundreds of farms across the state today as farmers worked through bitter conditions to make sure that their livestock were safe.

“It is cold out here but at least we can get inside when we’re done,” Jim Koch said while bracing from the wind. “That’s why we are more concerned about the cattle. We watch them closely to make sure they have everything they need to get through the weather.”

Originally published for the Iowa Soybean Association. Find more great stories at: www.iasoybeans.com/news