A major storm is bearing down on California and dairy industry experts are urging operators to keep cows out of harm’s way.
Heavy rains and localized flooding could contribute to a potential increase in disease, a decline in milk production and storm water runoff.
Michael Payne, a veterinarian and director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, said that while those impacts may be the worst-case scenarios, it pays to be prepared:
▪ Know if your dairy is in flood plain.
▪ Monitor the forecast and trusted websites for weather information.
▪ Have a farm disaster plan, including where livestock can be evacuated during a catastrophic situation.
▪ A county Office of Emergency Management or local livestock organizations may be used to coordinate the relocation of livestock.
“We are getting a very large storm coming through,” Payne said. “And it would be prudent for producers to take a look at their risks and make appropriate plans.”
The National Weather Service in Hanford is forecasting a 90 percent chance of heavy rain by midweek. An inch-and-a-half is possible in the Valley, with higher amounts in the foothills and mountains.