NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Winter weather has come with a vengeance, so cattle producers need to pay close attention to their animals.

The most important part of keeping cattle alive during the season is maintaining water and feed supply.

Substantial snowfall can make open area access to feed and water difficult.

Cold weather increases nutrient requirements, so for every one degree under 32 degrees, farmers should increase cattle feed by 1%

But the extreme negative temperatures and high winds play a big role in unhealthy cattle too.

The NDSU Extention Center recommends cattle’s body conditions be at a five out of 10, to be able to make it through the winter.

“This is a nice, light, dry snow that we’re experiencing right now. So, if you see cows with snow on their back, that actually helps to insulate them, once they get that snow covering on. Where it really affects them is when we have winds decreasing that wind chill factor down, that affects them. But also if we have wet conditions. So, cold temperatures, wind, and wet hair coats really affect them,” said Dr. James Rogers, a forage crops production specialist at the NDSU Research Extension Center.

Cattle can be at risk for pneumonia and other conditions after an extreme winter event.

And the risks remain even several weeks after a storm.