The North Carolina Department of agriculture has released livestock mortality numbers related to the damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. CNBC reports that about 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs have been killed by flooding in the state. Additionally, several pits containing animal waste have suffered structural damage, had been swamped by floodwaters or had wastewater levels go over the top from heavy rains.
“Our farmers took extraordinary measures in advance of this storm, including moving thousands of animals out of harm’s way as the hurricane approached,” said the N.C. Pork Council in a statement issued Tuesday. “We believe deeply in our commitment to provide care for our animals amid these incredibly challenging circumstances.”
Sanderson Farms also released a statement detailing the state of its operations. The company had previously mentioned that it would resume operations in its North Carolina facilities by the end of the week.
“The company continues its assessment of damage to independent farms and losses to its live inventories,” the company said. “Out of 880 broiler houses in North Carolina, 60 have flooded. Another six houses experienced damage and will be unable to house broilers until repairs are made. In addition to the affected broiler houses, four breeder houses out of a total of 92 in North Carolina flooded. At this point, none of the Company’s 33 pullet houses have reported serious damage. As a result of these losses, the company estimates that approximately 1.7 million head of broiler chickens out of an average live inventory of approximately 20 million head, ranging in age from six days to sixty-two days, were destroyed as a result of flooding. In addition, approximately thirty farms, housing approximately 211,000 chickens per farm, in the Lumberton, North Carolina, area are isolated by flood waters and the company is unable to reach those farms with feed trucks. Losses of live inventory could escalate if the company does not regain access to those farms.”
Sources: CNBC, Sanderson Farms