Crops, livestock battered by Irene

Today, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler stated that Hurricane Irene caused serious losses to North Carolina tobacco and food crops and could drive some farmers out of business.

Farming and agribusiness in North Carolina are a $70 billion industry and 75 percent of the industry is in the state's eastern counties that were hit by the Hurricane.

Troxler said hurricane winds blew down crops and heavy rain flooded fields. Poultry and hog farms lost power to their poultry and hog houses, cutting off crucial ventilation and cooling systems.

In seperate announcements, Smithfield Foods, Inc., said some barns belonging to contract farmers in North Carolina and Virginia had minor structural damage. Perdue Farms, said that none of their processing plants or farms had major structural damage, but many of their farms in North Carolina were without power.

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Posted 8/29/2011