Chow for cows!

New Mexico has approximately 150 dairies, with the largest average herd size (2088) in the nation. New Mexico is currently ranked 9th in the nation for milk production and 5th in the nation for cheese production.

The dairy industry was really beginning to take off in Roswell in the early 1990s (and before).  Many covered hoppers of feed were being delivered just south of Roswell at a siding which is featured on my layout.

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The siding along the top represents the area where  about 6 covered hoppers were typically spotted.  It will be an important source of traffic on the layout.

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The siding was (and still is) along Hwy 285, just south of Roswell. The siding is still periodically used to bring in feed. Note the auger (white) which is used to transfer the grain to truck to be transported to area dairies.

I remember cuts of about a half dozen covered hoppers frequently spotted here.  This feed and mostly locally grown alfalfa would feed the emerging dairy herds in the area.  It was an important source of ATSF traffic around Roswell in the 1990s.  It is far larger now.  There are now a number of large feed operations between Roswell and Carlsbad.

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I took this photo in 1994. Six cars were spotted at this time.

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Common road names included C&NW (pictured here), ATSF, BN, MP and MKT as well as private companies.

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