Hurricane Prep for Livestock

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After last year’s hurricane season, I can imagine that all the livestock owners out there are on high alert for this year’s hurricane season. For our region, that begins June 1 and lasts until November 30. If last year’s storms taught us anything, it should be to be prepared!!

Forecasters are predicting 11-15 named storms, with 4-6 becoming hurricanes. Be sure you have en emergency plan to address power outages, feed capabilities, and flooded pastures. Reviewing your insurance policies is also a good practice; make sure you are covered for wind, hail, flood, and catastrophic coverage if necessary.

In the case of livestock (and pets), it is important to be sure all your animals are up to date on vaccinations. Cattle should be up-to-date on IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, Lepto, and Blackleg at the very minimum. Goats and sheep should be current on tetanus and enterotoxemia vaccinations. When talking about pigs, they should be current on E. coli, swine influenza, parvovirus and lepto to name a few. Talk to your integrator to be sure you are meeting their standards. There is a whole list of vaccines for horses in our area, please email me or call your vet if you are unsure of what your horses may need.

Move vehicles and livestock trailers to safe ground, have a first aid kit on hand for anything you may need to treat wounds quickly in your animals, and having an extra supply of hay, feed and water will definitely come in handy if the storm hits. Do not check on your animals during the storm, you are no good to your family or your livestock if you get hurt!!

For some farmers and operators out there, there may be another added worry; that of making sure you follow your permit requirements.

Condition II.22, in part, reads:

Land application of waste is prohibited during precipitation events. The Permittee shall consider pending weather conditions in making the decision to land apply waste and shall document the weather conditions at the time of land application on forms supplied by or approved by the Division.

Land application of waste shall cease within four (4) hours of the time that the National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning, Tropical Storm Warning, or a Flood Watch associated with a tropical system including a hurricane, tropical storm, or tropical depression for the county in which the permitted facility is located.  Watches and warnings are posted on the National Weather Service’s website located at: www.weather.gov. More detailed website information can be found on Page 2 of the Certificate of Coverage. Watch and warning information can also be obtained by calling the local National Weather Service Office that serves the respective county, which can be found on Page 2 of the Certificate of Coverage.