A prolonged cold snap has settled into most of the U.S., with unseasonably frigid temperatures stretching across most of the nation. The Washington Post reported that 90% of the U.S. was forecast to have temperatures below zero on Jan. 1, with 156 million people under wind chill alerts.

While many of us look forward to thawing out, the frigid stretch is a welcome change for some precision farming dealers, especially in the Midwest, who saw a frantic finish to 2017.

Unseasonably warm temperatures well into December in parts of the central U.S., kept farmers in the field and their precision dealers trying to keep pace. Talking with a precision manager in Illinois, he noted the strain the extended window of outdoor opportunity put on his department.

“We were going for 21 weeks straight and ended up behind on billing and some other things we usually were able to catch up on by the end of the year,” he says.

So is this moderate transition from fall to winter going to be an ongoing trend? The precision manager says he is a believer in climate change and admits that if milder temperatures become a regular occurrence at the end of the year, he’ll need to make adjustments within his department.

“In warmer parts of the country, those dealers are used to getting into the field to work on something every day,” the precision manager says. “Here in the Midwest, we’re not really set up that way with our staff because it’s always been once our customers get done, we’re able to transition into a different part of the business.”