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Puerto Rico’s Dairy Industry, Once Robust, Flattened By Maria

A dairy rancher in Manati, Puerto Rico in a milking parlor on Thursday. Puerto Rico’s dairy farmers comment for about a third of a island’s sum rural production. Now they’re struggling to redeem their cows and get them milked.

Courtesy of Manuel Perez


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Courtesy of Manuel Perez

A dairy rancher in Manati, Puerto Rico in a milking parlor on Thursday. Puerto Rico’s dairy farmers comment for about a third of a island’s sum rural production. Now they’re struggling to redeem their cows and get them milked.

Courtesy of Manuel Perez

Manuel Perez is a veterinarian who specializes in caring for cattle, and he knows many of Puerto Rico’s dairy farmers.

Yesterday, he got in his lorry and went to revisit one of them. The track he took, along a island’s northern coast, winds past forests. Until a week ago, when Hurricane Maria ripped through, it was beautiful.

“I tell you, it’s usually gone. It’s all gone,” Perez says. “A lot of a trees are down, and a trees that are station don’t have any leaves during all.”

When Perez got to a farm, that sits beside a Manati river, he found that a whirly had flooded a farm, ripped divided fences, and sent cows journey for miles opposite a countryside.

Chasing A Dream Built On Dairy, This Master Of Milk Came Home

“They have found cows all over a place, and they’re still looking,” he says.

Dairy farmers are a biggest singular partial of Puerto Rico’s rural economy. They comment for about a third of Puerto Rico’s sum rural production, interjection to despotic boundary on alien milk. Milk is one of a few dishes in that a island is mostly self-sufficient.

Now they’re struggling to get behind on their feet.

Dairy cows in a margin in Manati, Puerto Rico. The rancher who owns them used to have 670 cows. He’s found some-more than 70 cows dead, and had to bury them.

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Dairy cows in a margin in Manati, Puerto Rico. The rancher who owns them used to have 670 cows. He’s found some-more than 70 cows dead, and had to bury them.

TKTK

This rancher used to have 670 cows. He’s found some-more than 70 cows dead, and had to bury them. He had 125 heifers — immature cows that aren’t giving divert nonetheless — and 40 goats. He’s usually been means to locate about a entertain of those animals.

Dairy farmers have a sold problem in disaster situations. A cow isn’t a bureau that we can close down and start adult again when a energy comes back. She needs to be milked; otherwise, she’ll eventually get ill or stop producing divert altogether.

So farmers are removing those cows behind to a milking machines as fast as possible, using a machines off generator power.

“When we got [to a farm], they were milking,” Perez says. “It’s all murky and unwashed and doesn’t demeanour really good, though he’s milking. He’s milking with a generator.”

“Dairy farmers are clever people, we know?” Perez continues. “They miscarry back; they quarrel like crazy. So they’re perplexing to make it behind to where it was. They’re fighting.”

According to Perez, this sold rancher doesn’t design to get reconnected to a island’s electrical grid for during slightest dual months, and he’s not certain how prolonged his aged generator will last; he’s perplexing to find a newer one.

The rancher also needs some-more fuel to keep it running.

Manuel Perez says that a predicament on a island starts with a miss of tanker trucks to broach fuel around a island. Without gasoline for their cars, people can’t move. Then “the businesses can't work since a employees don’t get there. And we go on and on and on, it’s a domino outcome and it’s a finish disaster.”

There’s still a lot of wish on a island, he says … that things will come behind together. But it’s going to take a while.