The provincial milk board is poised to help dairy producers whose farms are threatened by rising spring flood waters.
Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and the Emergency Measures Organization can help producers temporarily relocate their cows if their farms are at risk, says chairman David Wiens.
But moving dairy cows is so stressful for the animals that most producers would prefer to stay put, even if they have to discard milk because milk trucks cannot get to their farmyards, Wiens says. DFM will provide quota credits for producers to use later to compensate for the discarded milk.
A few producers in the St. Claude-Elm Creek area had their farms temporarily isolated by overland flooding from the spring melt, Wiens said last week as DFM’s annual round of spring district meetings wrapped up.
Most Red River Valley farmsteads are either on raised earthen pads or protected by ring dikes constructed under a federal-provincial infrastructure program after the record 1997 flood.
But flooding in Manitoba this spring is so widespread and the outlook is so uncertain that farmers should not hesitate to call DFM and make the board aware of their situation, he said.
“Floods are unpredictable. They don’t necessarily hit with the same severity in the same place year after year.”
Wiens said transportation costs are bound to increase temporarily as milk trucks are forced to reroute because of washouts, soft road surfaces or weight restrictions. “There’s going to be an impact on all of us but we won’t know until it’s over what that cost will have been.” [email protected]