B.C. milk farmers told to throw out product as flood-ravaged highways cut off access to Canada

Milk is pictured at a grocery store in North Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan HaywardMilk is pictured at a grocery store in North Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
Dairy cows walk in a pasture in Surrey, B.C., on August 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl DyckDairy cows walk in a pasture in Surrey, B.C., on August 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

With highways closed connecting the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to the rest of Canada, B.C.’s milk farmers are facing steep challenges getting their supply to consumers.

The B.C. Milk Marketing Board directed producers in the Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Interior on Tuesday (Nov. 16) to dispose of milk in their manure pits. Before disposing, producers are being asked to record their dipstick measurements.

Meanwhile, in areas relatively unaffected by the floods, such as the Kootenays, supply will be sent to Alberta.

The board said it is working closely with transporters to manage milk pickup where possible.

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“The situation has been getting progressively worse since Sunday night, specifically significant failures to roadway systems due to mudslides, flooding and road collapse have increased challenges throughout the province.”

All major highways remain closed, with no timeline in sight for when Highway 1, 3, 5, 7 or 99 will be re-opened.

An update from the province on ongoing efforts to mitigate and respond to flooding damage is expected at 3 p.m. Tuesday.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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