Canada: Flooding impacts BC milk supply

Preliminary assessment of the impact of flooding, evacuation now available
calendar icon 24 November 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

Massive flooding in the western Canadian province of British Columbia has led to emergency evacuations and a devastating number of deaths. Milk supply has been impacted as a result of the flooding, said the BC Dairy Association

The preliminary assessment of the impacts of flooding on cattle and dairy farms in the Abbotsford and Yarrow areas estimates approximately 23,000 cattle are impacted by the flooding. About 500 are dead as a result, but it is possible that number will rise as health problems could arise in those inpacted by the flood.

Another estimated 6,000 head have been evacuated to farms outside of the flooded areas, while another 16,000 remain on their own farms. 

BC Dairy said it is working with the province, transport companies, farmers, and volunteers to ensure cattle remaining on impacted farms are housed, fed, and watered. Significant amounts of grain and supplies have been transported to the affected farms.

“While just one cow perishing in a natural disaster is disheartening, it is a credit to the tireless work of farmers, their families and volunteers that so many cattle were saved and so few lost,” says Holger Schwichtenberg, chair of the BC Dairy Association and a dairy farmer in Agassiz.

Currently, approximately 80% of the milk produced on BC farms is being picked up for processing. This is enough to meet fluid milk needs of the province, said BC Dairy. Pickup was suspended in some regions impacted by the flood, as roads were inaccessible. In some regions, milk is being shipped out of province to Alberta for processing. 

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