Farm Progress

Pictures show hurricane's unprecedented damage to North Carolina crops

John Hart

October 19, 2016

12 Slides

<p><span>&quot;We know there are going to be losses, and we know we are going to seek assistance for our farmers from USDA and other governmental agencies,&rdquo; North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says.</span></p>

While it is still too early to put a dollar value on the damage to crops in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says the destruction to agriculture is unprecedented.

The commissioner  surveyed the crops in eastern North Carolina  twice by helicopter and notes that the destruction is worse than the damage brought on by Hurricane Floyd in September 1999.

He said cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans are hardest hit. Hogs and poultry were also hard hit, but Troxler said it is amazing that mortality rates weren’t higher. “The hard numbers are we have less than 2 million chickens that have died; we have about 250 million chickens in North Carolina. We lost 1,300 hogs and we raise more than 9 million hogs per year in North Carolina,” Troxler said.

Farmers needing assistance can call the Ag Emergency Hotline at 1-866-645-9403. The department is operating the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Editor's Note: Southeast Farm Press sends a special thank you to Hyde County Extension Agent Andrea Gibbs who provided these photos. In addition, Gibbs credits helicopter pilot Sid Cayton of  Aurora, N.C. for piloting the helicopter for the aerial photos. "He has been instrumental in helping us document this damage from the air," Gibbs says.

About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

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