SALEM, S.D. & HAYES, S.D. (KELO)– South Dakota farmers and ranchers don’t get snow days, no matter how bad a winter storm gets.

In some parts of South Dakota, this is the fourth day of the storm. But most ag producers are prepared.

It was snowing pretty hard at Steve Eichacker’s farm in Salem recently. But this is something he’s been planning for.

“It starts probably in the fall,” said Eichacker. “You know, early on in the fall we start grazing our cornstalk fields that are further from home, probably a little less wind protection, and as fall moves on and winter gets closer, those cows we just keep bringing them closer and closer to home, because you always have to have a plan.”

In weather like this, it’s important to have wind breaks such as the corn stalk bales you see behind me or rows of trees. The cattle also get fresh bedding daily.

“In South Dakota it’s just always about the wind. You know, these cattle, they can go out and it can be 10 below, 20 below, if the wind’s not blowing quite honestly they are extremely comfortable,” said Eichacker. “We will bed the calves every day. You know the calves, they are in the lots here, they don’t have the fresh snow so to speak to go lay on or anything so they will get bedded on a mound.”

Wednesday afternoon at the Scarborough Ranch near Hayes, there was already a foot of snow on the ground, and it was starting to blow. They moved their cattle to areas with windbreaks, but had to wait until the snow stopped to put down more bedding.

“Once we know that it’s kind of done snowing, we will go out and we will put straw out so that they have warm places to lay and hopefully they will come through it just fine,” said cattle producer Marli Scarborough.

Even with the extra work, both producers are thankful for the much needed moisture.

“The snow kind of causes some problems and some extra work, but this year we are really grateful for it because it’s just been so dry,” said Scarborough.

“It’s going to take some snow this winter and some melt and run-off while the ground is froze to fill all these dams so these cows have water for next summer. It’s a big deal,” said said Eichacker.

Eichacker will begin his calving season in the beginning of February and says that this wave of the storm will not affect the cows, heifers or calves. If this type of storm happens during calving, it will be a bigger issue.