Farmers in North and South Carolina face huge losses of livestock and crops after Hurricane Florence.
Millions of farm animals have died and millions of dollars of damage has been caused to crops in North and South Carolina from Hurricane Florence.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs reported preliminary estimates of 3.4m poultry birds and 5,500 pigs having died as a result of the storm.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said: “This was an unprecedented storm with flooding expected to exceed that from any other storms in recent memory.
“We know agricultural losses will be significant because the flooding has affected the top six agricultural counties in our state.
“The footprint of flooding from this storm covers much of the same area hit by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which only worsens the burden on these farmers.”
In South Carolina, the direct loss to farmers was expected to be $125m (£94.7m), with cotton crops hit hard. There would also be impacts on soybeans, peanuts, fruits, vegetables and livestock.
South Carolina Farm Bureau president Harry Ott said farmers in the state were ‘no strangers’ to hurricanes, flooding and national disasters.
“Hurricane Florence significantly impacted the Pee Dee region where the majority of our state’s crops are grown. We are working with our farmers and officials to get everyone back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Cullen Bryant, who farms 650 hectares in Dillon County, South Carolina, estimated up to 80 per cent of his 300-hectare cotton crop was lost and said there was not much he could have done to protect the crop in the field.
“We knew we would get rain, just not the rainfall that we did," he said.
"In some ways, we feel like we dodged a bullet since it did not come in right on top of us. That was a blessing in and of itself.”