'Jonas' Snow Shuts Down Milk Hauling in Appalachia

January 25, 2016 10:05 AM

By Lucas Sjostrom

Winter Storm Jonas placed heavy snowfall totals across the Mid-Atlantic states Friday and Saturday, shutting down milk hauling routes, collapsing barns, and freezing equipment to give dairies all they could handle despite knowing about the pending storm.

Snowfall totals hit over a foot in many places throughout the region, with the Kentucky-Tennessee border feeling the first impact during the day Friday.

“About 8 o’clock in the morning yesterday, maybe earlier, they started getting some freezing rain,” explained Maury Cox, executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, over the phone Saturday afternoon. “It converted over to ice, and then about 9 a.m. it started snowing and they got about 18 inches altogether.”

Cox said the southern portion of his state consists of mostly freestall or compost-bedded pack barns. Generally speaking, animals and barns were okay, but milk trucks and plants were slow or stopped in their normal pickup and delivery. Cox reported that at least one barn collapsed under the heavy snow.

As of Saturday afternoon, Kentucky farmers were able to clear driveways and yards, but county and state roads had not been cleared, making it difficult for milk trucks to move and forcing many farms to dump milk.

“They were ready for the storm, but the ice came,” Cox said. “They wrecked a salt truck or two in Adair County, as they kept ending up in people’s yards or the ditch, so they gave up Friday evening.”

Read more at www.DairyHerd.com.

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