Thousands of hog farmers and pork industry employees across Eastern North Carolina have been working around the clock to protect their farms, their animals and the environment from the extraordinary levels of rain and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. Hog farms lost power and many roads and highways are closed, making it difficult to deliver needed supplies.
The NC Pork Council has been in touch with major pork production companies and individual farmers across the state. The initial reports as of midday Tuesday are promising: No hog lagoon breaches have been reported and the loss of animal life has been limited. We will continue to assess the situation.
The work of North Carolina’s agricultural community in the wake of this storm has been amazing. The community has pulled together to deliver generators to those in need, ensure animals have fresh food and water, and in some instances relocate animals in danger from flood waters. With power outages and road closures expected to last for several more days, our focus remains on delivering feed and fuel to those farms that are hard to access.
This event is far from over. The heavy rains that fell upstream, including in the Triangle, will cause flooding downstream later this week. The flooding poses an additional risk to our farms. Floods already have overloaded many municipal sewer systems – including those in Raleigh, Dunn and Elizabeth City – and led to discharges into rivers and streams.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide assistance to hog farmers who are still facing challenges from the hurricane. We remain in close contact with state agricultural officials and emergency personnel.
Farmers who need assistance are encouraged to call North Carolina’s Agricultural Disaster Hotline at (866) 645-9403.