Livestock Losses Mounting after Florence

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says 5,500 hogs and 3.4 million poultry were lost due to Hurricane Florence. With the addition to damage on farms around the area, substantial road damage is prohibiting access to markets and processors. That makes for a lot of logistical challenges for farmers to get feed to their livestock, electricity on farms, and just getting to the barns successfully to care for their animals.

Smithfield Foods said just one of their 200 company-owned farms in North Carolina had floodwaters inundate the hog houses and the lagoon. The Smithfield processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina is scheduled to ramp up production as roads become more passable. Sanderson Farms reported that 60 broiler houses and four feeder houses were all flooded.

About 30 of the independent farms that supply Sanderson with birds are isolated by floodwaters and unreachable right now. That amounts to about 6 million birds that they can’t get feed to. Sanderson reports there was no damage to processing facilities, feed mill, or two hatcheries. Operations resumed at the feed mill on Monday and on Tuesday at the processing plant.