Initial reports from first responders, farmers and veterinarians indicate that hog farms in North Carolina have not experienced substantial impacts from Hurricane Florence.
Initial surveying is reporting no damage to sporadic roof damage on whole across the industry. There are power outages, and those farms are using generator power.
Rainfall amounts have not exceeded the available capacity of lagoons. Lagoon levels were low ahead of the storm’s arrival due to a dry late July to early September growing season, which afforded ample opportunity to properly manage levels by applying the treated effluent as a fertilizer on crops in accordance with agronomic rates and state regulations.
Farmers are watching closely forecasts that show extensive flooding is expected over the next several days. Animals already have been moved off farms that could experience on-farm flooding, and additional measures will be taken as forecasts and circumstances evolve.
Many hog farmers are also volunteer firefighters in their communities, and we express deep gratitude to their efforts over the past 24 hours and wish them safety in the hours ahead.
A note of caution: In advance of the storm, the North Carolina Pork Council saw widespread instances of inaccurate reporting in the media about the pork industry in the state, relying on activist groups who are exploiting the storm to advance their own agendas. As with previous storms, some media outlets have fallen victim to this, and have published inaccurate information and photos. We have seen photos of municipal waste plants, poultry houses and other agricultural facilities inaccurately labeled as pig farms. We have seen barns that have been empty for multiple years characterized as active hog farms.
We urge caution, especially in a breaking news environment where initial information is often inaccurate. It is precisely in these first hours and days that activists with an agenda seek to exploit the media. Our request: Beware of what you hear about hog farms during Hurricane Florence.
Statement on preparations: https://ncpork.org/prepared/
Hog farms & hurricanes: https://ncpork.org/primer/
Matthew, and buyouts: https://ncpork.org/buyout/
Beware of misleading agendas: https://ncpork.org/beware/
The storm’s threat: https://ncpork.org/concern/
Photo from North Carolina hog farm, afternoon of Sept. 14
Quote from Lorenda Overman, hog farmer
“We have lost power at our home, but the pigs have their own power by generator. I may go out to my barns and get a hot shower because, right now, they have everything I need.”
Photo from Overman’s home looking to barns: