Low Temps Make High Prices For Farmers

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By Amanda Wade

For some, these low temperatures could cause a spike in power bills, but for farmers they can put large dents in paychecks just to keep their animals alive and well.

 
Cattle farmers say the livestock needs extra feed to stay strong through the Winter, and for farmers like Kenny Harden, that comes at a price, "It costs to maintain the feed for them. Hay, whether you grow it yourself or you buy it, there's a cost to it. But to keep them in good shape you're going to have to put the feed out there for them," says Harden.
 
And if fed properly farmers say cows are designed to make it through harsh weather, but for a chicken farmer, keeping the birds at the right temperature in the winter can cost thousands of dollars per week.
 
"You're looking anywhere from on a mild day, you know, maybe $100, and on severe days you may be looking at $500 or $600 per day just to keep them at the optimum temperature you want the birds to be at so they'll keep growing," says Tom Duncan, owner of Daybreak Farms in Greenville. 
 
As farmers do their best to battle the elements and keep their livestock healthy, they have to plan ahead in order to make any profit, "In the Winter time, you can more or less count on a couple of months where your pay is just going to pay propane bills and your operating costs. So, what you hope to do is shoulder months in the Spring and the Fall, so you can make enough to justify everything out in the long run," says Duncan. 
 
One Farmer says this winter has already been more costly than last year's, spending nearly $12,000 in heating and operating costs since Thanksgiving. 
 

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