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Bracing your farm for the biggest snow dump since 2008

Farmers should prepare for a double whammy snow storm headed for southern Ontario

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Farmers in southern Ontario should expect a blast of what’s being called a double whammy snow storm that is supposed to hit the region on Thursday and Friday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch for much of southern and eastern Ontario with the system to be a combination of an Alberta clipper and a Texas low.  Anywhere from 15 to 25 centimetres of snow is expected. The Alberta clipper will bring the cold air and winds while the Texas low will bring the snow. Environment Canada is expecting that this will be the biggest dump of snow all at once since December 2008, but in terms of longevity it’s only expected to last until Friday midday. Those who live near the lake will experience snowier conditions with some local lake –effect snow.

While the snow storm warning is for all southern Ontario residence, farmers should pay particular attention since the impact of winter storms on farms can lead to a number of issues. Farm buildings can be damaged due to high winds and heavy snow/ice accumulation and potential power failures or fuel shortages can impact livestock.

The following are some key steps on how to protect your farm during winter storms:

•Stay informed – monitor the weather regularly
•Be prepared for power outages
•Develop an emergency plan for water and feed resources – make extra feed, have water resources on-hand
•Have a standby electric generator, shovel and road salt on-hand
•Winterize buildings – especially those which may house livestock – stall storm shutters, doors, caulk and weather strip, insulate water lines etc.
•After the storm check your livestock, check buildings and fences, downed trees or power lines

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