Regli Jerseys is a 400 acre farm in Ferndale, home to approximately 300 cows. They rely on providing organ milk to Humboldt as their primary source of income.
“There’s not enough local pasture or grass growing. It didn’t grow as well because we had less water. The cost of feeding our cows have now gone up 20%. Also the price of milk has not gone up so that’s a huge bite out of our margins,” said Jim Regli, owner of Regli Jerseys Farm.
The farm buys their hay to feed the cows from the Klamath Basin who has also been affected by the drought. They’re producing less hay and their prices on transporting it has increased.
Ranches as well farms are forced to sell their livestock because they can’t afford to feed and maintain them.
“Ranchers in California have had to cut back on their livestock herd just because the grass isn’t growing so they don’t have the feed to feed them,” said Regli.
The IRS is offering relief to these businesses that were directly affected by the drought. Only farmers in the breeding and dairy business qualify. Selling livestock for poultry or raised for slaughter do not qualify.
Eligible ranchers and farmers are being offered a one year extension to replace the livestock they sold by the end of the first drought-free year.
These details can be found on the IRS website at irs.gov.