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Livestock operations shutting down for hurricane

Operations feel it is in best interest of employees to shutter facilities.

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence this week as a large percentage of livestock operations along the East Coast are in the path of the storm and bracing for what it could bring.

Feed industry sources told Feedstuffs that a number of livestock operations are planning to just shut down and incur losses. The operations feel that they can’t risk people coming to work, the sources added.

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“Our farmers and others in the pork industry are working together to take precautions that will protect our farms, our animals and our environment,” said Brandon Warren, president of the North Carolina Pork Council and a hog farmer from Sampson County, N.C. “The preparations for a hurricane began long before the past few hours or days. Our farmers take hurricane threats extremely seriously. We are continuing this work until the storm will force us inside.”

Poultry facilities in the area are quite old, so high winds could wreak havoc, sources said.

Feed mills will likely be fine unless they are located in an area prone to flooding, they noted.

As for getting feed into the affected region, the sources said it was great that authorities gave a few days' notice that the storm would hit but added that it can take three weeks to get feed delivered. Companies are currently sending feed that way by rail and truck in hopes that the feed at least will be in close proximity — a few days away instead of a few weeks — when things reopen.

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