April blizzard clobbers South Dakota ranchers
The April blizzard is making it hard for farmers and ranchers who are calving right now.
Troy Hadrick lives just four miles west of Faulkton, S.D. and said the past couple days have been challenging. He, his wife and two older kids started digging calves out of the snow about 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday. It's been nonstop ever since with getting heifers out of the wind and plowing snow to check on the calves. He said the older calves are doing well, but it's hard to even check on them since the snow keeps piling up.
"It’s exhausting for one thing. You pretty much have to live with them being up there, being out there as much as possible," Hadrick said.
All of this has created a stressful situation, especially with as long of a winter we've had.
"Finally felt like we were in a pretty good spot, and now we're basically starting back over to where we were a month ago. And it will take us days and days and days to dig out again," Hadrick said.
He's also keeping an eye on his barn with all the snow that's piling up. He's concerned about it, but there's only so much he can do in this situation. He's trying to stay positive and knows there is sunshine in the near future. He also knows he isn't the only person dealing with this situation in South Dakota.
"Once the snow does stop, we’re going to have to get out and start pushing snow again; try and get down to some dry ground and get it bedded," he said. "There’s just so many things that can pop up on a day like this when those calves get wet and covered in snow, sometimes they’ll have trouble pairing up. They don’t smell right, can’t figure out which ones hers, just a lot of little things like that. There’s nothing good about it."
He said he thinks this is the toughest winter he's experienced since 1996-97. That one lasted longer than this one, but Hadrick said this winter has had many powerful blizzards that have lasted several days.
The photos used in this article are courtesy of Troy Hadrick.