“For the past four years, we have tried to deal with circumstances and losses, but Mother Nature has dealt a heavy blow,” said the farmer, who lost 195 cows. A hurricane in Washington caused a lot of damage, which includes 10 destroyed farms and more than 1,500 dead cows. Cattle were the main income of thousands of farmers and they do not know what to do. Most of the destroyed farms were in the arid Yakima Valley. According to NBC News, local farmers used open space for cows. Farmers were not afraid of this, because Yakima Valley is a dry area. But on Saturday, the meteorological services warned of an approaching storm that brought 24 inches of snow. Sometimes, wind speed increased to 48 mph.
“I’ve run a dairy farm for more than 15 years, but I’ve never seen anything like that. A storm killed 190 my cows and this is a very strong blow. My 35 employees struggled with losses for more than 4 years, but Mother Nature struck suddenly. We have to forget about this and find a solution, "said Jason Sheehan, 44.
An agronomy consultant for farms in the region Stuart Turner said that local farmers were not ready for such a storm, but they did a great job to protect their herds of cows. Some of them even tried to build a temporary shelter. All cows are clustered together so as not to die from a decrease in temperature. As a result, some of them were crushed.
“One cow costs at least $2,000. If we add up the cost of 1,500 cows, we’ll get terrible numbers. All farms suffered a lot of damage given the decrease in total farm income by almost 40% in the last 5 years,” said Turner. Jason Sheehan also said that the hurricane had stopped the work of his farm for the first time since 1978. It was one of the worst hurricanes in this region.
“All our employees tried to save our animals. They all love this job, so the hurricane devastated them,” Sheehan added. But farmers had no time to mourn the animals as they had to resume the work of the farms and milk the cows.
“The farm community is large and friendly. The farm workers who did not suffer much damage help the employees of other farms,” said Sheehan. Now, farmers are trying to forget about the hurricane and its consequences in order to resume full-scale farm work.
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