Producers throughout the state are struggling to make it through the ongoing drought conditions, and dairy farmers are no exception. The lack of water has left many dairy producers having to source expensive feed where they can. CEO of Western United Dairies, Anja Raudabaugh said that the organic sector has been hit particularly hard. Dire water conditions on the north coast have forced many operations to truck water in just to water their cows. Raudabaugh explained that the organic feed market has been no different than conventional, with costs increasing tremendously.
“We’re already starting to see, at least on the organic side, production decrease. There’s a lot of guys that are saying ‘this is the end’ and they can’t get through. If they cut their herds by 30 percent and they’ve only got 30 cows, you can’t make the numbers work,” Raudabaugh noted. “So, it’s going to be a terrible year. It’s going to be a really bad year if it continues into next year.”
Listen to the radio report below.