Heat-Wave Raises Farmers' Concerns

NORTH CAROLINA, US - In the present heat-wave across much of the country, poultry farmers are concerned for the health and welfare of their birds.
calendar icon 29 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

With triple digit temperatures expected over the next few days, many farmers are concerned about their crops, livestock and other enterprises, according to WBTV.

In the farm country of Catawba County, crops are showing signs of heat stress and cows are not producing as much milk as is they should.

The biggest concern, though, is on the poultry farms.

"The heat and humidity going through the houses is tough on them," said Van Proctor.

The Proctor farm has several new chicken houses with thousands of birds being raised for market. Every house is equipped with a cooling system that depends on electricity to keep running.

A generator is nearby in case something goes wrong. A sudden rise in temperature can cause a panic among chickens and can be fatal.

"They would all group together and maybe suffocate," said Mr Proctor.

Alarm systems are set up on all the houses but farmers may have just minutes to respond in time if temperatures are in triple digits.

"We hope it doesn't come to that," said Van's father, Junior Proctor. The family is optimistic things will work out and equipment will work as it should.

Besides the poultry, they are also concerned about the corn crop and soybean plants. Agriculture officials say the heat-wave could have an effect on yields and bottom line profits for farmers this year.

Mr Proctor told WBTV that he would not be surprised if there is some damaged from the heat. "It'll hurt them," he said, but hopes the damage won't be significant.

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