COVID-19 Resources for Livestock

Emergency Depopulation of Livestock Facilities

Animals continue to grow and move through livestock production systems despite packing plant closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations pertain to livestock farmers who may be forced to euthanize livestock to avoid exposing their animals and workers to unsafe conditions.

Depopulation Resources

Best Management Practices for Meat Processors

With the increasing illnesses of COVID-19 in Nebraska, plants should consider implementing “Best Practices” to avoid transmission from one employee to another. Use this document to create a prevention program to reduce exposure of your employees to the transmission of the virus.

Nebraska Department of Ag Resources

Visit the NDA website for a list of additional resources for farmers and ranchers.

NDA COVID-19 Resources

Flood Resources for Livestock

Looking for information on forages and pastures? Visit the Crops section.

Cattle Producers Post Flood Checklist

A list of things for cattle producers to consider when dealing with the aftermath of the flood.

Rebuilding Fences After Flood/Blizzard Damage

After this spring’s blizzards and flooding, fence rebuilding is a priority for many livestock producers. In setting new fences, questions may come up regarding opportunities for financial assistance as well as neighbor responsibilities as outlined in Nebraska fencing laws. This article discusses a USDA cost-share program, Nebraska fencing law, and considerations as you assess the damage.

University of Nebraska Feed Planning Assistance

Donations of hay and feed have been coming in at the University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC) near Mead, NE to help those affected by the flood. If you are a cattle producer, you may be asking what is available and what do I need? This document was prepared to help producers determine feeding strategies based on donated hay, feeds, and supplements currently available.

Dealing with flooded hay and grain

This article outlines the considerations for determining if wet feed and hay can be used.

Disposal of Flood Soaked Grains and Forages

This article describes how to dispose of feeds that have been exposed to contaminated flood water.

Feeding Cows After the Flood

This article outlines how to supplement cows in early lactation receiving medium quality grass hay to meet their nutritional requirements.

Options for Disposal of Animal Carcasses

The state of Nebraska allows for disposal of dead animals via several methods including composting, burial, rendering, landfill and incineration. Information comparing the mortality management options and a list of rendering services and landfills in the state provided.

Emergency Disposal of Livestock Carcasses

Five methods are approved for the routine disposal of livestock carcasses in Nebraska: composting, burial, incineration, rendering and land-filling. In an emergency situation – such as when livestock losses occur due to extreme weather or another non-disease related event – these five options still exist, but may not be suitable in all situations. The feasibility of carcass disposal via incineration, rendering or land-filling will depend on existing infrastructure or resources and, therefore, will not be discussed here. Acceptable processes for emergency composting and burial of livestock carcasses are described here.

Livestock Indemnity Program 

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including extreme cold and flooding. Information on determining what is needed and how to quantify losses can be found in the article.

Caring for Livestock During Disasters  

Colorado State University Extension describes preparations to handle livestock in varying types of disasters. Proper handling of livestock during weather events can reduce risk and ensure safety.

Flood-Related Diseases in Poultry and Livestock

Iowa State University Extension describes how animals may be exposed to and acquire flood-related diseases. Feed, water, and space needs are important to reducing flood-related diseases.

Livestock and Farm Buildings after a Flood

Iowa State University Extension describes considerations for safety and servicing of buildings when they were covered or sitting in water during a flood. 

Emergency Holding Pond Management During Wet Weather

Many areas of Nebraska have experienced higher than normal precipitation events recently, with some areas receiving rainfall that far exceeded a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. This abnormally wet weather pattern has caused drainage and flooding issues in some parts of the state. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and Nebraska Extension would like to remind producers and landowners to be vigilant in monitoring lagoon and runoff holding pond levels.