Irene killed 30,000 Maryland chickens
Maryland Agriculture Secretary Earl "Buddy" Hance has released a preliminary accounting of agricultural losses from Hurricane Irene. The casualties include 30,000 chickens. Here's Hance:
"High winds and excessive rain caused loss of power, flooding, and tree and limb damage across most of the state. Southern Maryland and the Lower Eastern Shore, however, sustained most of the damage, primarily on drought-stricken corn fields where wind flattened the crop in many places, making it difficult to harvest. The remaining sweet corn was severely blown over and may not be recoverable, but we believe this will impact a small amount as most has been harvested.
"Overall Maryland livestock fared well with no significant loss. For the poultry industry, the Harim Group reported that the storm killed about 30,000 birds in Maryland. There were no other reports of bird loss or significant structural damage.
"Soybeans fared well and the moisture will help the crop. About 100 acres of watermelon were destroyed and another 100 acres sustained damage severe enough to be reported as a loss. About 600 acres of string beans may be unharvestable. There was no impact from the storm west of Frederick.
"The Farm Service Agency will further assess damages to agriculture – crops, livestock, conservation – and we should have a better indication of those estimates later this week. Farmers who experienced hurricane damage are reminded to stay in close contact with their crop insurance agents."
(SUN PHOTO: Doug Kapustin, 2007)