North Carolina’s sweet potato farmers, already facing lower prices for their crop, were dealt a powerful second blow in September, when Hurricane Florence flooded the state’s top sweet potato-producing counties.
A month after Hurricane Florence swamped southern North Carolina with up to 40 inches of rain, state officials offered on Thursday to buy out hog farms that have a high risk of flooding in severe storms.
As Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday, farmers in the Southeast were still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence just weeks ago.
Gov. Roy Cooper earmarked $235 million for agriculture out of a proposed $1.5 billion in state spending for recovery from Hurricane Florence “and future storm resiliency” on Wednesday.
Flood water from Hurricane Florence still afflicts some North Carolina hog farmers more than two weeks after the storm reached land, said the state Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday. For the 10th day in a row, the DEQ reported 41 manure lagoons were flooded or overflowing at hog farms.
Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina at harvest time and caused agricultural losses of $1.1 billion, almost all of it in row crops, said the state Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
Poultry growers lost 4 million chickens and turkeys due to Hurricane Florence and crop losses will run in the billions of dollars, said Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, on Tuesday. Wooten's poultry figure was higher than the only estimate by state officials, made a week ago, of 3.4 million birds killed by the storm, along with 5,500 hogs.
Grounded by bad weather, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper visited a flooded poultry farm in livestock-heavy Duplin County on Monday for a first-hand look at recovery from Hurricane Florence. “The driving tour was very impactful,” said Perdue in a USDA audio …
Hurricane Florence is the latest illustration that "flood-prone coastal states like North Carolina are no place for CAFOs," said the Union of Concerned Scientists, calling for tighter regulation of industrial livestock farms. Gov. Roy Cooper and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are scheduled to view agricultural damage today and may see some of the four dozen manure lagoons statewide that are flooded or overflowing because of storm water.
Some 57 manure lagoons in North Carolina were flooded, overflowing, or structurally damaged by the heavy rains and floods caused by Hurricane Florence — an increase of 14 in a day, said the state Department of Environmental Quality on Thursday.
Twice as many livestock have died in North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence as perished in Hurricane Matthew two years ago, and more manure lagoons have been damaged or flooded, state agencies said on Wednesday.
The third-largest U.S. poultry processor lost at least 8 percent of its chickens in North Carolina due to flooding from Hurricane Florence, and expects lower meat production through December as a result. Sanderson Farms was the first meat processor to announce livestock losses: 1.7 million chickens.
At least eight manure lagoons in hog-heavy southeastern North Carolina were breached, flooded or "overtopped" due to relentless rainfall from Hurricane Florence and flooding that is expected to continue for days, said a state official on Monday. The North Carolina Pork Council, a farm group, said "we remain concerned about the the potential impact of these record-shattering floods."
Hurricane Florence will pour 15 to 25 inches of rain onto the Carolinas when it reaches land on Thursday, with up to 35 inches in some places, according to the National Hurricane Center. The North Carolina hog industry says it survived Hurricane Matthew with minimal losses in October 2016 and asserts it is prepared for Florence.