BC MILK is working closely with transporters to manage milk pickup through these extremely challenging weather events. We understand the challenge of the unknown many producers are feeling while we attempt to recover. Please understand our transporters and BC MILK staff are working at all hours to get your milk picked up, but we cannot yet feasible pickup all farms due to flooding, roadways, and resource constraints.
We continue to ask producers to be patient as we will not be back to normal anytime soon. Many detours, traffic delays, and unsafe roads are causing a strain on resources across the province, and we may see disruption last a matter of weeks or months rather than days. Phone lines are busy but staff at BC Milk or at your transporter will do their best to respond to questions or provide information you need.
If your farm was flooded and you are now returning to your farm, make sure you are coordinating with your equipment dealers. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will need the sign-off from your equipment dealers before they will approve the shipment of milk again.
We continue to be challenged in all regions in the province. Please read below for the up-to-date status for your region. We understand the challenge of the unknown many producers are feeling while we attempt to recover. Please understand our transporters and BC MILK staff are working at all hours to get your milk picked up, but we cannot yet feasibly pickup all farms due to flooding, roadways, and resource constraints.
The following regions of the province are still affected as follows:
- Producers in Abbotsford that fall into the Sumas Prairie Boil Water Advisory, We cannot pickup your milk until after the Boil Water Advisory is lifted. You are asked that as soon as the boil water advisory is lifted, you dispose of all milk in your bulk tank, immediately wash your bulk tank and start filling once again. You MUST ensure your tank is clean and sanitized using potable water or we cannot pickup your milk.
Once the Boil Water Advisory is lifted pickup will be determined by accessibility. You may still be asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be picked up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing.
Sumas Prairie Boil Water Advisory – Revised and updated water sample procedure
In consultation with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, it has been deemed that the use of home test kits for testing for water potability will be accepted. The kits used must test for ecoli and coliform. It is a good option to have, especially for farms on the boundary of the boil water advisory area map.
The ecoli and coliform test will take 12 to 24 hours depending on the test kit. Producers that want to use a test kit can follow this protocol:
- Take a water sample to use for the test kit (sample #1)
- Complete full wash of the bulk tank and the milking parlour. (Bulk tank needs to be dumped if it has any milk in it)
- Milking #1 into tank
- Take a second water sample (Sample #2) before milking
- If samples, are both clear, we’ll only require a water sample result every 48 hours to coincide with milk pickup.
If the test results show that the water is not potable, then the milk cannot be shipped and must be disposed.
If the tests results show the water is potable, please send pictures of your test results Erin.Cuthbert@gov.bc.ca.
The Ministry and BC MILK will then make a determination if your milk can be picked up and communicate to transporters.
Producers that are using home test kits can continue to do so but must submit one sample to an accredited lab per week. Fraser Analytical is testing samples at 9am and 9pm each day for producers, so producers could submit two samples in one day.
Please note, that the risk assessment of roadways and access to your farm will also determine whether we can pickup your milk.
- Producers in Chilliwack, Most producers are now scheduled to be picked up and back on their normal schedule, although there may be delays. If no pickup occurs, you are asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be picked up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing. We still are unable to pick up all producers. If you are not being picked up and running out of manure storage, please let the BC MILK transport department know.
- Producers in Agassiz East of the Woodside Mudslide, Most producers are now scheduled to be picked up and back on their normal schedule although there may be delays. If no pickup occurs, you are asked to only dump your milk at intervals when you would ‘normally’ be picked up – every other day. Trucks may be late, so your milk disposal should occur prior to the milking after your ‘normal pickup’ timing. We still are unable to pick up all producers. If you are not being picked up and running out of manure storage, please let the BC MILK transport department know.
- Producers in the Creston/Kootenays will have continued pickup as we can deliver to Alberta.
- Producers on Vancouver Island will have continued pickup, with limited disruption.
For producers in this region, we ask for your continued patience. Some limited access through Highway 3 has opened a channel between the interior and the lower mainland but has not yet solved all our transportation challenges. This access is a large detour and has heavy traffic and long delays. We will get some limited trucks through here and will provide updates when we can increase.
- Producers in the BC Interior, normal pickup has resumed effective today and will occur on your ‘normal’ pickup day and time. A few producers were called specifically to dispose of their milk, this has not changed. If you were not called, expect milk pickups to resume. The organic producers in the region will have to continue disposal until further notice but we are actively working on solutions.
- Producers in Prince George/Bulkley Valley/Smithers will not be picked up until further notice. A few select producers have been called and will be picked up based on limited resources. There are limited roads available to enter the Lower Mainland for milk delivery, and only limited access to Alberta. We are still actively working on solutions in this region.
Disposal and reporting
If you are asked to dispose of your milk, align the disposal with ‘normal’ pickup schedule into your manure pit, as we are unsure exactly when pickup can resume. Please do so responsibly. Before disposing, record your dipstick measurement and send in an email,
- Your dipstick reading or volume
- Date of disposal
- To Lisa Gruban email@example.com
With the significant amount of milk dumping and transportation challenges, all producers in the province should log into the MMS Producer Portal and check their milk pickups to ensure all milk pickups have been reported. Payment for your milk is based directly from the volumes shown in the Pickup History screen (under the Test Results drop down) so if you are missing any pickups, you should report these as soon as possible. You can log into the MMS Producer Portal here: https://portal.nitamms.com/login
Producers across the province can expect disruption to milk quality sample results and components although we expect these to resume shortly. After disruption last week, we expect to get more test results this week starting later today.
If you have questions related to your farm, the impact on quota, quality, transport, or finances, BC MILK staff directory can be found here: