BC dairy farmers dumped 7.5M litres of milk in November

Landslides that closed highways across the province also resulted in 7.5 million litres of milk being lost—roughly $5.5 million in revenue.

By Grace Kennedy | December 15, 2021 |12:28 pm

Farmers across BC had to dump 7.5 million litres of raw milk in November, after flooding and landslides closed highways to and from the Lower Mainland.

More than 60% of the province’s dairy farmers are in the Fraser Valley. Some of these farmers and their cows had to be evacuated from Sumas Prairie, but even those who were safe and dry had to dump their milk for several days due to road closures. The road closures affected not only the Fraser Valley, but also farmers as far away as Prince George. (The only dairy farmers in BC who did not have to dump their milk were in the Kootenays, which was able to ship milk to Alberta to be processed.)

The loss represents roughly $5.5 million in revenue. The BC Milk Marketing Board is receiving support from the Canadian Dairy Commission and other provinces to deal with the revenue loss, including an extension on the board’s payments into various milk pools.

(Milk pools are how Canada ensures all dairy farmers are paid equitably for their production. Dairy boards in different provinces put their revenue into the pool so it can be shared with farmers across regions.)

The board said it is working on getting financial aid for farmers and the organization.

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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