“There wasn’t that much water at first, and then the water started going up,” farmer Wayne Hollingsworth said. “It’s just spread all over the place.”
About 100 cows have died in Saskatchewan, Canada, since the River Canoe Creek rose during heavy rains, forcing several farmers to abandon their herds.
Canada’s CTV News reports that Saskatchewan has endured nearly a month’s worth of rain in just two days. Most of the land in the province has been under water for weeks, and many farmers have lost their winter crops to the flooding. But the rain — more than 18 inches in some places — finally caught up with cattle, a keystone farm product that most farmers do not have the option of abandoning because they depend on the cash flow from the cows’ milk and meat.
“It’s been awful,” farmer Tony Young told CTV News.
Young said that he had worked around the clock to save the cows, injecting them with water and fertilizer to try to save them as the waters rose. Even as he was doing that, he managed to save four of his own cows, according to The Toronto Star.
One of the wettest major flood seasons on record in Saskatchewan, Canada. Spent Saturday cleaning out the stands from the greenhouse in Sammartini. I haven’t made it here in a week after never thought I’d be there again. Always loved summer and cooling down pic.twitter.com/ZLhB8SJVAZ — Jaime Potts (@JarrettPotts) October 3, 2018
But because of the increase in the river’s water level and too much time spent away from their barns by their herds, several farmers were forced to abandon their animals, turning them over to community groups. “We just called several community groups, kind of listed the cows and they’re feeding them up,” Young said. “They’re giving us a couple dollars a cow and if we don’t have a load in the barn we can feed the ones that we are left with.”
So far, Young has only received a handful of bags of hay and spent five hours coaxing his remaining cows to “stand up,” according to CTV News. In spite of his efforts, he said that his livelihood and the lives of his animals could not have been managed differently.
“This is the worst. This is the biggest problem we’ve had in many, many years,” he said. “It’s something that would take a whole lot of water to do the damage that’s gone in just two days.”
Read the full story at CTV News.
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