Hurricane Preparedness for Horticultural Growers and Beekeepers

— Written By
Alex Hitt removes the plastic from a Haygrove tunnel before Hurricane Charley in 2004.

Peregrine Farm’s Alex Hitt removes the plastic from a Haygrove tunnel before Hurricane Charley in 2004. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Hurricane Florence is dominating news coverage this week and for good reason: it is predicted to be the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall north of South Carolina. Folks in North Carolina are busy with hurricane prep: stocking up on water, groceries, batteries, filling up on gas, etc.

Farmers are also busy doing their best to prepare for the impending hurricane. I remembered today that I had written an article on hurricane preparedness for growers about 10 years ago. It still seemed relevant so I am sharing it again today. I am also including an article for beekeepers written by our NC State Extension Apiculture Specialist Dr. David Tarpy.

Also, beekeepers and specialty crop and organic growers should consider registering their beehives and fields with DriftWatch. If the hurricane causes intense rainfall and flooding, then the Commissioner of Agriculture could declare a State of Emergency. That means the state could authorize exemptions from certain restrictions of aerial pesticide applications to control mosquitoes. Registering your hives and crop fields can help protect them from these pesticide applications. Click here to learn more about this program.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has activated its hotline to connect farmers with resources that can assist with agricultural emergencies. The toll-free number is 1-866-645-9403. The hotline operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional Resources:

N.C. Disaster Information Center – N.C. Cooperative Extension

DriftWatch

Hurricane Florence: Prepare the Farm and Stay Safe – RAFI

Disaster Planning for Farms and Agribusinesses – NCDA&CS

Purchasing a Back-up Generator for the Farm – N.C. Cooperative Extension

Farm Emergency Plan Template – NCDA&CS

Trees and Hurricanes – University of Florida

Good luck everyone and stay safe!