Farmers choose to leave livestock outside during Hurricane Michael

Farmers choose to leave livestock outside during Hurricane Michael

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - With Hurricane Michael expected to bring heavy rain and high winds to the Midlands, local farmers are on high alert making sure they’re prepared for the worst.

At the Old McCaskill’s Farm in Rembert, they raise lamb, pork, beef, goats, and poultry but farmers here say there’s no real way to prepare the animals for severe weather.

They say animals have their own instincts when it comes to the weather.

There are several three-sided sheds placed throughout the property for the livestock to seek shelter from the rain if they choose to. One farmer says while you may think keeping your livestock locked inside is safe, you could actually be putting your animals in harm’s way.

“You do not confine the animals in a barn for the simple fact that if that barn comes down or something comes into that barn like a tree or flying debris, the animals can’t get away. So, they are better off if you leave them in the pastures. Animals are really smart. They’re receptive. They know where to go,” Kathy McCaskill of the Old McCaskill’s Farm in Kershaw County said.

As for your crops, another local farmer says now’s the time to get them out of harm’s way. They say Hurricane Michael will mean having to harvest some of their crops early.

Mack McLeod with the Fralo Farm told WIS-TV, “I’ve got friends that are cotton and peanut farmers that’ve been working night and day for the last week trying to get as much of their crop out of the fields as they can. The cotton gets knocked on the ground, which basically is inharvestable. The lent quality deteriorates. The weight deteriorates. The peanuts they get too wet. They stay in the ground. They mold.”

Farmers say the biggest concern is for what comes after the storm. They face many challenges with operating the farm if they lose power.

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