Federal officials survey Matthew’s damage to NC crops

TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Federal agricultural officials and Rep. G.K. Butterfield were in Tarboro Thursday to see the extent of damage North Carolina’s agriculture suffered following Hurricane Matthew.

Bob Etheridge, state executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, was on hand with Butterfield as they toured Kent Smith’s farm in Tarboro.

Smith said his sweet potato and soybean crops were ruined by Matthew’s flood waters, costing him $800,000.


He said he could purchase three tractors with that money. Smith says he planned to pay off a tractor in 10-12 years. Now he’s concerned about simply being able to plant next years crops.

USDA administrators said they don’t anticipate a sweet potato shortage this Thanksgiving despite massive losses due to Matthew.

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