Farmers dump 3.7 million gallons of milk and plow fresh vegetables back into soil due to coronavirus

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of milk daily and a single chicken processor can smash 750,000 eggs per week, reports Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy farm cooperative in the country.

The International Dairy Foods Association also estimates that farmers are currently dumping about 5 per cent of the milk supply in the U.S. 

Many are also are being forced to bury fresh vegetables, or in some cases, donate them to organizations like Meals on Wheels. 

Limited resources and money, however, are making it difficult to provide the donations. 

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Fresh milk gushes down a drain at Golden E Dairy farm near West Bend, Wisconsin

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Fresh milk gushes down a drain at Golden E Dairy farm near West Bend, Wisconsin

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Fresh milk gushes down a drain at Golden E Dairy farm near West Bend, Wisconsin

A drop in business has forced the dumping of about 5 per cent of the milk supply in the U.S., according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Cows are pictured at a dairy farm in Hastings, Minnesota

A drop in business has forced the dumping of about 5 per cent of the milk supply in the U.S., according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Cows are pictured at a dairy farm in Hastings, Minnesota

A drop in business has forced the dumping of about 5 per cent of the milk supply in the U.S., according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Cows are pictured at a dairy farm in Hastings, Minnesota

Farmers also are being forced to bury fresh vegetables for the same reasons, or in some cases, donate them to organizations that provide food to those in need, like Meals on Wheels. A worker harvests collard greens at Footprint Farms of Jackson, Mississippi

Farmers also are being forced to bury fresh vegetables for the same reasons, or in some cases, donate them to organizations that provide food to those in need, like Meals on Wheels. A worker harvests collard greens at Footprint Farms of Jackson, Mississippi

Farmers also are being forced to bury fresh vegetables for the same reasons, or in some cases, donate them to organizations that provide food to those in need, like Meals on Wheels. A worker harvests collard greens at Footprint Farms of Jackson, Mississippi

Farmers also say they are facing challenges repackaging products as some switch from supplying the food service industry to grocers and other retail food sellers they are not normally prepared to work with, the New York Times reports. 

The move to dump milk and destroy fresh food comes as the spread of the deadly flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19, continues and has resulted in job losses for millions of Americans.  

Farming, meanwhile, is among industries across the country that have struggled to adapt to the crisis when they are still greatly needed.

There have been more than 550,600 confirmed cases in the U.S. of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for at least 21,715 deaths.  

As America’s agricultural industry is confronted by the impacts of the virus, there have been some striking examples of food waste.

Wisconsin and Ohio farmers have dumped thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits.

An Idaho farmer found himself digging ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions.

There have been more than 550,600 confirmed cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for at least 21,715 deaths

There have been more than 550,600 confirmed cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for at least 21,715 deaths

There have been more than 550,600 confirmed cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for at least 21,715 deaths

The number of coronavirus cases in the US as they have escalated over time

The number of coronavirus cases in the US as they have escalated over time

The number of coronavirus cases in the US as they have escalated over time

The number of new coronavirus infections in the US as they have escalated over time

The number of new coronavirus infections in the US as they have escalated over time

The number of new coronavirus infections in the US as they have escalated over time

A day-to-day look at the number of deaths in the US resulting from the coronavirus

A day-to-day look at the number of deaths in the US resulting from the coronavirus

A day-to-day look at the number of deaths in the US resulting from the coronavirus

Meanwhile, South Florida farms, which supply much of the East coast, have sent tractors across the fields to replow beans, cabbage and other ripe vegetables right back into the ground.

‘It’s heartbreaking,’ Paul Allen, co-owner of R.C. Hatton, tells the Times. 

The company has had to destroy millions of pounds of beans and cabbage at his farms in South Florida and Georgia. 

As Allen and other farmers plow fresh vegetables into the soil, they have had to plant the same crops again in the hopes the economy’s recovery will come by the time they have have grown enough to harvest.

Otherwise, they may have to destroy the fruits of their labors again, while so many in America are in need.

 

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