North Carolina’s poultry sector has lost at least 3.4 million birds, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported Tuesday.
With swine industry losses currently standing at 5,500 hogs, the department added.
The state agency warned that the livestock losses “could change based on further recovery efforts.”
— Three Sonorans (@ThreeSonorans) September 19, 2018
The National Weather Service estimated this week that Florence had dumped a total of 8.04 trillion gallons of rain on North Carolina.
At least 7 city sewage systems were overwhelmed by Florence's rain in North Carolina.
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Crop Losses Mount
Wooten, a corn and tobacco grower, said: “Tobacco was only about 50% out of the field and so it was probably the most impacted of any of the crops we had out.”
Half of the tobacco produced in the U.S. comes from North Carolina.
North Carolina is also America’s largest producer of sweet potatoes, and the crop was only about one-fourth harvested before Florence struck.
Many fields remained flooded Tuesday, and there are concerns the crop will rot resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
Meantime, South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said that cotton farmers in the state will suffer the most impact from the storm.
Weathers said of the sustained 50 mph winds, “It literally knocked [the cotton] out of the bolls onto the ground.”
“Some of our farmers had to plant late because of a cold wet spring, so that could be a blessing. If it’s later planted, its chances are better.”
Finally, the storm will likely also have an impact on peanuts. Florence halted peanut harvesting, and Weathers said the quality of the crop is harmed if peanuts are left in the ground too long.
These losses add to mounting global food supply concerns, in relation to the Grand Solar Minimum’s intensification.