Cows have feelings too.

Just ask Roy Remund, a local dairyman who was troubled earlier this year as his herd's milk production plummeted mysteriously overnight."It never happened like that before," Remund told board members of the Midway Sanitation District when he met with them earlier this month to plead his case.

Puzzled as the springtime problem persisted through summer, Remund put two and two together and pegged the culprit.

It seems his herd was disturbed for several consecutive evenings by discombobulating late-night noise created by a trenching machine working overtime to lay a sewer line through the area at the north edge of Midway.

"A cow has to let her milk down. She has to relax," Remund said. "The cows were just plain nervous."

Like modern dairy farmers everywhere, Remund keeps meticulous production records and was able to show an unmistakable correlation between the trencher's presence and his cows' low-milk mood, according to Dan Matthews, attorney for the sanitation district.

"I don't doubt the records," said Matthews. "Some concession ought to be made. We ought to apologize for his problems and part friends."

So that's what the board did.

Noting that production by his herd fell off by a full third and stayed down until the cows calved again later in the year, Remund figured his losses at $26,000 but said he would settle for three free sewer hookups for family members who want to build houses on his land.

The board, which normally charges about $2,000 per hookup, agreed to the proposal, pending verification of the nervous-cow phenomenon by experts at Utah State University and a check into legal precedents Matthews said have been set elsewhere.

Members also got schooled on the delicate nature of a cow's psyche.

"They're relatively sensitive," Matthews said. "You couldn't tell by looking at them, could you?"