TX Dairy Farm Suffers Devastating Loss After 18,000 Cattle Die in Explosion

Credit: shutterstock

A Texas dairy farm has lost 90% of their cattle after a large explosion killed 18,000 cows. According to USA Today, a fire spread rapidly through the holding pens where cattle were waiting to be milked. This is not the first time cattle have been lost due to fire, but it is the deadliest fire known to this point. The number of cows that have been lost in this tragedy is three times the number of cattle that are slaughtered each day in the United States. 

All dairy farm workers have been accounted for at the South Fork Dairy farm near Dimmitt, Texas, although one sustained injuries and is in critical but stable condition as of now. Dimmitt mayor Roger Malone called the incident “mind-boggling,” noting that the loss of 18,000 cattle is “a real tragedy.”


The exact cause of the fire is currently being investigated, but it is believed that a technical malfunction in a piece of equipment led to the fire. Pictures posted on social media show “a large plume of black smoke lifting from the farm fire” and cows that were burned. 

The loss for South Fork Dairy farm is tremendous. County Judge Mandy Gfeller, said each cow is valued at around $2,000 and with the amount of livestock that perished, the company’s losses could be tens of millions of dollars; and this number doesn’t even include equipment and structure loss. 


“Texas ranks fourth nationally in milk production, home to 319 Grade A dairies with an estimated 625,000 cows producing almost 16.5 billion pounds of milk a year, according to the Texas Association of Dairymen, a trade group […] Even by Texas standards, South Fork Dairy was a behemoth. Its 18,000 cattle made it nearly 10 times larger than the average dairy herd in Texas.”

With South Fork Dairy farm suffering such a devastating loss, their company and those they serve will struggle with short and long term consequences. While clean up efforts are underway, recovering the losses will take much time. South Fork Dairy farm needs prayers and support as they pick up the pieces to what was their thriving business. 

Recommended For You