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August 30, 2011

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:

Maryland chickens"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)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:28 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Hurricanes


How did 30,000 chickens die? Did no one take steps to protect these animals? At what point do we, as a "civilized" society, finally impose regulations on industry to prevent such barbaric things from happening? did this happen and why is the article so non-chalant about that many animals dying?? Not a significant loss? wow. MDA where are you???

Ms Kunhardt and Balto4930,

Maryland produced 291,900,000 broilers in 2009. Thus, the losses in Hurricane Irene probably represent a bit over 1% of the total crop. Since this loss was not spread evenly among the broiler industry, though, some farmers took a much greater hit than did others. Be assured that the farmers who raise broilers for you and me are good stewards of their assets and, undoubtedly, took every step to protect it from loss.

I am heartened by your concern for the livelihoods of your fellow Marylanders in this difficult time.

FR REPLIES: The Maryland Department of Agriculture now says Secretary Hance's report on Tuesday was in error about the mortalities. The 30,000 dead chickens expired in Delaware, not Maryland, apparently when a chicken house flooded.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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