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.
Washington chef and restaurateur Jose Andres hit a milestone in relief work in Puerto Rico: Serving the 1 millionth meal to hurricane victims in three weeks through his World Central Kitchen, aided by hundreds of volunteers. Restaurateur Guy Fieri, a resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., cooked meals for wildfire evacuees in Sonoma County.
Puerto Rico's agriculture secretary, Carlos Flores Ortega, estimates Hurricane Maria wiped out 80 percent of the value of the island's crops in a matter of hours, worth $780 million, says the New York Times. The newspaper quoted a farmer on the southeast coast as saying, "There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won't be for a year or longer."
The 3.75 million food stamp recipients in Texas are cleared to buy hot food with their benefits through Sept. 30 because of damage from Hurricane Harvey and schools in the disaster area can serve free meals to all of their students, said the USDA. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said President Trump "made it clear ... that process and paperwork can wait until later."
Based on conditions at the start of August, the USDA forecast the largest U.S. cotton crop in 11 years, 20.6 million bales, but the estimate "is far from a certainty" after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the largest cotton-growing state, says an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis. "Severe flooding related to Hurricane Harvey is likely to have impacted major cotton producing regions."
Texas is easily the largest cattle state in the country, with 12.3 million head, or nearly one of every seven head in the U.S. inventory of 93.6 million cattle. The 54 Texas counties declared a disaster area due to damage by Hurricane Harvey hold 1.2 million beef cows, the animals that are the foundation of the cattle industry, says livestock economist David Anderson of Texas A&M.
Some 1.4 million people in Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, require food assistance because of widespread damage by Hurricane Matthew to supplies and crops in large swaths of the country, according to a survey by UN and Haitian agencies. In Haiti's Department of Grande-Anse, "agriculture has been virtually wiped out," says the UN, and "losses of subsistence crops in the Department of Sud have been nearly total."