NC State Fair could provide stress relief post-Matthew, ag commissioner says

Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As the North Carolina State Fair kicks off Thursday afternoon, the state agriculture commissioner said flooding from Hurricane Matthew is affecting exhibitors.

Commissioner Steve Troxler said he spent the last two days in a helicopter surveying damage left behind by the storm that dumped up to 15 inches in some parts of the state.

“We know there are many farm families in Eastern North Carolina that would be showing livestock of bringing their crops to the fair to show,” Troxler said. “Some of them won’t be able to get here.”

Troxler said he hopes the fair provides some stress relief from Matthew and its aftermath.

A canned food drive is held every year on the second Thursday of the fair.

Fair organizers hope those wanting to help flood victims will bring canned food items Oct. 20.

The food collected will be distributed across the state.

Poultry loses are approaching $2 million, Troxler said. That is a small percentage of the more than 250 million birds in North Carolina.

He is thankful for the preparation that allowed them to mitigate losses as much as possible.

Troxler said the hog industry fared amazingly well. He did not witness and failed hog lagoons during inspections.

But crops were hurt but the extent of the damage still isn’t known.

“Certainly if there was standing water over top of the crops, there’s going to be almost total damage,” Troxler said. “We even had watermelons in the field in Chowan County, and I think you can imagine where those watermelons are now.”

Troxler will be asking for a federal declaration of a disaster to help with funding.

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