The Texas dairy industry has suffered a massive setback, thanks to the perilous blizzard that swept through the region last week, which killed off thousands of the region's milk-producing cows.
Winter Storm Goliath hit both Texas and New Mexico, causing many of the region's dairy cows to go days without being milked on a regular basis. According to Darren Turley, executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen, this increased the amount of cattle who perished as a direct result of the storm.
"When a dairy cow goes that long without being milked, her milk supply starts to dry up," Turley said in a recent statement. "That means the dairy cows in this region will give less milk for months to come. Less milk going to market will be felt by consumers, as well as by dairy farmers."
Road closures from storm warnings also became a barrier between the small amount of milk that actually was collected, and its destination for processing, which led to hundreds of gallons of spoiled milk. The resulting shortage will likely mean higher prices for a carton of milk at your local grocery store in the near future.
Less than a year after cowboys were forced to herd cattle through torrential floodwaters, farmers are struggling with the issue of how to safely dispose of nearly 30,000 dead cow carcasses.
"The immediate challenge is how to handle these sudden, massive losses of animals," Turley explained. "The ordinary methods for disposal cannot handle the volume of deaths we are seeing from this storm."
That leaves The Texas Association of Dairymen up to the task of working with the government in hopes of quickly finding solutions to these two pressing issues.