Western Washington dairies, including those in Skagit County, are running dangerously low on feed for their cows following major flooding last week.
Dan Wood, executive director of the Washington State Dairy Federation, said feed shortages are impacting an estimated 100,000 milking cows throughout Western Washington.
He said last week’s flooding damaged the EPL feed plant in Sumas, a major regional feed supplier, forcing it to shut down temporarily. Rail line disruptions have created additional supply shortages.
In a Sunday survey, many farms reported they had just one or two days of feed on hand, according to the dairy federation.
Wood said the Sumas plant is asking for trucks and drivers to help haul feed and equipment.
While the Sumas plant works to restart, a Skagit County feed supplier has stepped up.
“We’re in overdrive,” Kristiana Christianson, an employee at Conway Feed, said Tuesday. “We have picked up quite a few of EPL’s customers. We’ve had to service our regular customers and many of those who were affected by the flood.”
She said the Conway plant has received deliveries by truck and rail as normal.
Wood said the supply challenges are just one way recent flooding has impacted dairies.
“We’ve got farmhouses that need to be cleaned up and farmworker housing, equipment and ongoing expenses,” he said.
The Washington State Dairy Federation has set up an emergency fund to help farms impacted by flooding. For more information, contact the organization at 360-482-3485.