Spring rains this year have been rather harsh to California Dairy Producers.
According to an article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, so far 1,600 cows and 3,200 youngstock have died as a result of the storms. And losses continue to mount as more cows – about 105 per day – continue to die from pneumonia and just sheer exhaustion from fighting the mud and the muck.
Members of the Natural Resources Defense Council blamed inadequate upkeep of facilities, poor drainage and higher cow density for the high amount of losses. However, producers contend it was the huge amount of rain that fell last month that did them in. Normally, during the rainy season producers work rain water runoff back into pastures and other crop land. But with the long-term deluge everything was saturated and there was no place for the water to go so the mud and muck in the corrals just got deeper.
According to Bob Feenstra, executive director for the Milk Producers Council, losses so far are estimated at $40 million and expected to climb even higher. For comparison, losses during the 1998 El Nino storm event were about $60 million.
For more details go to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin at: http://www.dailybulletin.com/Stories/0,1413,203~21481~2743786,00.html
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin