The Christian Science Monitor

N.C. hog farmers caught in conundrum: US loves pork, but not Big Pork

Joey Carter had one terrible thought this week when he surveyed lagoons of hog waste filling to the brim on his farm in hurricane-struck Duplin County, N.C.: “Them things are going to bust.”

But the massive lagoons have held firm, even as the storm’s toll rises.

In Mr. Carter’s view, the fact that only 23 lagoons became inundated and 31 have overtopped is a sign of farm ingenuity in a state with 3,300 such lagoons across more than 2,000 farms. Some 5,500 pigs have died.

“We need an atta-boy for the job we’re doing,” says Carter. “We’ve been actively pulling the lagoons down and getting ready. In a normal year, we’re fine. But this is just a catastrophic event.”

In a peculiarity of hog farming, farmers don’t own the hogs; corporate processors like Smithfield do. But as hog stewards, farmers own

America's sodden barbecue beltChanging hog farming

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