About five percent of the mature dairy cows, and a yet-undetermined number of heifers and calves were killed
1/2/16 – A statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Texas Association of Dairymen (TAD) says that the winter storm named Goliath “hit hard at the heart of the Texas dairy industry.”
The reduction in the state’s milk supply, and dairy and other financial losses, as well as the emotional impact on farmers of losing their animals, is enormous, says TAD Executive Director Darren Turley.
Turley said it wasn’t until Tuesday that many dairy producers in the area largely impacted by the storms – from Lubbock west to Muleshoe, Texas, and north to Friona – could gauge the impact by surveying their property.
Turley says that the region includes half of the state’s top ten milk producing counties which amounts to about 36 percent of the Lone Star state’s dairy cows – an estimated 142,800 cows. Turley estimates that about five percent of the mature dairy cows, and a yet-undetermined heifers and calves were killed. He expects losses to climb as farmers are able to survey the damage.
The TDA official said the next challenge will be how to handle this sudden and massive loss of animals. He said, “The ordinary methods for disposal cannot handle the volume of deaths we are seeing from this storm. The Texas Association of Dairymen is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other agencies to determine how the animals can be disposed of both quickly and safely.”
CNN reports the storm resulted in the loss of “hundreds of loads of milk” that were ready to be processed and many milk-producing cows weren’t milked daily, according to Darren Turley, executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen.
“When a dairy cow goes that long without being milked, her milk supply starts to dry up,” Turley said in a statement. “That means the dairy cows in this region will give less milk for months to come. Less milk going to market will be felt by consumers, as well as by dairy farmers.”
The loss of the livestock from storm’s impact “and on living livestock is expected to decrease the state’s milk supply for up to a year,” reports local News Channel 10.