From the Tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
North Carolina is no stranger to natural disasters. From hurricanes and tornadoes to flooding and drought, we have experienced them all in varying degrees. Some events have been statewide and, thankfully, some have been more isolated, but all have the potential to be life-changing. We were reminded of this fact by the destructive tornadoes that rolled through the state in April.
Farmers are used to dealing with the weather as they work to bring a crop to harvest, but extreme weather presents challenges that are not routine.
That is one of the reasons we have dedicated this issue of the Agricultural Review to storm weather preparedness. You will find addresses and numbers for Farm Service Agency offices for each county. Some offices serve multiple counties, and it is important that you know who to report damage to in the event of severe weather. Information collected on the county level helps determine whether disaster declarations can be made.
Many farms have generators on hand, but some do not. Locating a power source is one often one of the first orders of business for a farm. Loss of power can present problems for livestock and crop producers alike. Curing, drying and refrigeration can all be affected by the loss of power. Feed mills and cooling systems in livestock operations also suffer when the power is out. If you have a generator, check it regularly to make sure it will work properly when needed. If you do not have a generator, I would recommend making arrangements for one before a storm strikes.
If you have an emergency plan, I encourage you to review it with your workers. Everyone involved in your farming operation needs to know what to do should severe weather be headed your way. You won't have time to review what needs to be done in the midst of a crisis.
Hopefully, Mother Nature will be kind to us this season, but we know the state is always susceptible to severe weather. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stands ready to assist in the event of severe weather.
On another note, please be sure to send in your renewal card for the Agricultural Review. We want to be sure you continue receiving your newspaper every month.
Clip the card off the front of this paper and mail it in, or your can renew online with your subscription number that is listed above your mailing address.
Go to www.ncagr.gov/publicwebapps/AgReview/Default.aspx.