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Farmers have hotline for Hurricane Matthew

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has activated its toll-free hotline to help farmers affected by Hurricane Matthew connect with resources that can assist with recovery. Farmers who have an agricultural emergency can call 1-866-645-9403.

“Hurricane Matthew has brought record-breaking floods and strong winds to a large part of North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We expect impacts to farms to include power outages, damage to crops and agricultural buildings, and animal health emergencies. We are prepared to work with our state and local partners to help our agricultural community in the storm’s aftermath.”

Parts of eastern North Carolina had already received heavy rains in late September and had surplus soil moisture as of last Monday. Many crops, such as soybeans, cotton, peanuts and sweet potatoes, were still in the field. The earlier rain hampered farmers’ efforts to harvest before Hurricane Matthew affected the state.

Department officials will be conducting damage assessments in the coming days as it becomes safe to do so. However, several farmers in the eastern part of the state have posted photos on social media of fields under water.

Farmers can also find recovery resources on the department’s disaster web pages,www.ncagr.gov/disaster.

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