FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 2008
Dewitt Hardee, environmental programs manager
(919) 733-7125, ext. 256
NCDA&CS seeking farmers’ input on potential Corps of Engineers
project at meeting Aug. 28 in Williamston
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services invites farmers in the Lower Roanoke River Basin to a meeting Thursday, Aug. 28, in Williamston to discuss agricultural impacts that might occur if the federal government changed Kerr Lake flood-release operations.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center. Pizza and refreshments will be provided by the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether to raise the lake’s flood releases from 20,000 cubic feet per second to up to 35,000 cfs. The change would move flood water more quickly through the Lower Roanoke River Basin. The corps’ goal is to cut the time bottomland hardwoods and seedlings would be flooded, and increase their chances of surviving a flood.
The change would increase the frequency of flood events on some adjacent agricultural lands, but it would decrease the length of time any given flood might last.
Representatives of the Corps of Engineers will be at the meeting to provide information about the potential change and the areas it would affect. For complete information on the changes being considered, visit http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/jhkerr/index.htm.
“Farmers and owners of agricultural lands that would be affected by this change should plan to attend this meeting,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We want farmers to let us know how this change might affect planting dates, production practices, harvest times and other agricultural operations. We will include the public’s input in our advisory opinion to the Corps of Engineers.”