Continued reports from farmers and veterinarians as well as first responders indicate that hog farms in North Carolina have not experienced substantial widespread impacts from Hurricane Florence, which continues to strike the state.
Farmers have activated back-up power generation due to significant power outages. On-farm reports indicate sporadic and minor wind damage to structures. Processing facilities are reported to be operational. Processing facility production schedules have not been announced, but it is anticipated that determinations will be based on employee safety.
Farmers are closely watching forecasts for historic, 1000-year flooding that is expected to occur across multiple counties over the next several days. Many animals have been moved off farms that could flood, and additional measures will be taken as circumstances evolve.
Rainfall amounts across the region have not exceeded the available capacity of farm lagoons on whole across the industry. 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.
Many hog farmers continue to assist with the ongoing emergency response in their communities, including assisting with search and rescue operations. We continue to express gratitude for their efforts.
Quote from Marlowe Vaughan, North Carolina hog farmer
“My pigs are safe. We are weathering the storm. Farmers always do.”
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/
Sept. 14 advisory: https://ncpork.org/advisory1/