Washington dairy farms take $4 million hit from cows lost in blizzard

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- Officials say the more than 1,800 dairy cows that died in a blizzard in Washington state earlier this month were a nearly $4 million loss, not including the lost milk production.

Farm Service Agency program specialist Gerri Richter tells the Capital Press that seven dairy farms have given notices of loss to the agency's office in Yakima, and more are expected to report soon.

The dairy producers must give notice within 30 days to prepare to apply for the agency's Livestock Indemnity Program, which pays out at 75 percent of market value.

Steve George, an issues manager for the state dairy federation, says up to 15 farms near Sunnyside lost cows, with one dairy reported to have lost about 600 cows in the Feb. 9 storm.

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