Update: Hurricane Florence Widespread Impact on North Carolina Agriculture, Including Some Hog Lagoons, Cotton, and Tobacco

An update posted yesterday at the BartellPowell Blog regarding the impacts of Hurricane Florence on North Carolina agriculture, noted that, “North Carolina’s hog-manure lagoons have stayed contained so far, according to the state…”

However, Bloomberg writers Mark Niquette, Shruti Singh, and Megan Durisin reported Tuesday that, “There have been at least two breaches of hog-manure lagoons in North Carolina amid the record-setting, still-rising floods that have been unleashed by deadly Hurricane Florence, according to a state agency.

“One of the sites is in Duplin County and contains more than 300,000 cubic yards of waste, which can be described as a ‘total loss,’ said Megan Thorpe, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

The state has about 4,000 of the lagoons, Governor Roy Cooper said Sunday. The lined earthen pits that hold treated waste had been a major environmental concern as unprecedented rain lashed the state. North Carolina is home to more pigs than any state besides Iowa, and its farms are concentrated in eastern counties, government data show.”

Tuesday’s article added, “Rising waters are spurring ‘widespread impacts‘ in eastern regions, the North Carolina Pork Council said in a statement on its website Monday. The group said it was aware of one lagoon breach in Duplin County and four other lagoons there were inundated by the floodwaters.”

In a separate Bloomberg article Tuesday, Jen Skerritt, Megan Durisin, and Shruti Singh reported that, “The record-setting, still-rising floods unleashed across North Carolina by deadly Hurricane Florence are soaking crops after the storm wreaked havoc on cotton and tobacco.

“The number of cotton fields rated in good or excellent condition fell by 14 percentage points to 48 percent as of Sunday from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report Monday. Conditions also declined for corn and soybeans, and agriculture officials in the state cited damage from wind and rains to tobacco plants.

“No one is certain just how many tobacco, corn, soybean, cotton, peanut and sweet potato fields are still under water or experiencing flooding, said Lynda Loveland, spokeswoman for North Carolina Farm Bureau. It will take several days to properly assess crop damage as the water still needs to recede, she said in an email.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.