Dairy farms take $4M hit from cows lost in blizzard

Associated Press
Cows feed on hay rolled out by Dan Hanrahan on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 in Cumming. The cows in this field usually feed on corn stalks leftover from the year before but hay is used to supplement their nutrition.

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. (AP) — Officials say the more than 1,800 dairy cows that died in a blizzard in southern Washington state earlier this month were a nearly $4 million loss, not including the lost milk production.

Farm Service Agency program specialist Gerri Richter tells the Capital Press that seven dairy farms have given notices of loss to the agency’s office in Yakima, and more are expected to report soon.

The agency’s Livestock Indemnity Program pays out at 75 percent of market value.

Steve George of the state dairy federation says up to 15 farms near Sunnyside lost cows, with one dairy reported to have lost about 600 cows in the Feb. 9 storm.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday made $100,000 available to help farmers haul the animals to an Oregon landfill.