Winter storms blamed for 1,600 dairy cow deaths in Washington

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A series of winter storms that have pounded the state of Washington this week are blamed for killing about 1,600 dairy cows in the Yakima Valley.

Dairy farmers blame cold temperatures and winds gusting to 80 miles per hour for the cow deaths.

KIMA-TV says dairy farmers are preparing for more winter storms by adding extra bedding to insulate areas for cows to lie down, adding extra feed, and thawing water troughs with hot water.

Dairy farmer Alyssa Haak of Prosser, Washington, says they are stacking straw bales to create windbreaks for cows.

Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency because of the storms, which farmers are hoping will lead to further assistance.