Prestage Farms continues to assess the full impacts of Hurricane Florence on its operations throughout southeastern and central North Carolina.
“While we are still responding to the severe effects of this storm, we are pleased there have been no reports of serious injuries or loss of life among our employees or contract producers,” said John Prestage, senior vice president of Prestage Farms. “Above all else, we are grateful that our people are safe.”
No significant damage was experienced at the company’s two feed mills or its turkey hatchery, all located near Clinton. Power is now restored to those three facilities. Prestage’s turkey processing division, located in St Pauls, closed operations last Thursday in advance of the storm’s landfall and is expected to resume operations tomorrow.
Prestage Farms operates 81 farms in seven NC counties, areas all impacted by Hurricane Florence. These include turkey breeder farms as well as hog farms. Prestage Farms also contracts with independent farmers to grow both hogs and turkeys.
Electrical power has been restored to approximately 90 percent of the company-owned farms. Until power is restored on the other farms, diesel-powered generators continue to be utilized to support feeding and watering equipment as well as ventilation systems. Reports indicate minimal structural damages to turkey and hog houses on various farms, mainly roof damages.
Unfortunately, losses totaling 737 hogs on 20 of the company’s farms and a combined total of 85,000 market turkeys on four contract farms resulted from the storm.
There are no reports of breaches or structural failures of the anaerobic treatment lagoons on the company’s hog farms.
“Our team did an excellent job getting prepared in advance of the storm and now in response to the adversity that it’s left behind, they are working tirelessly to get our operations back to normal,” said Prestage. “I thank each one of them for their hard work and perseverance. Also, Prestage Farms wants to thank all of the response teams that are working to help our local communities and businesses with recovery efforts.”