LAUREL, MISS. – After enduring the initial brunt of Hurricane Ida, poultry processors in Louisiana and Mississippi are evaluating the situation and, in some cases, restarting operations on Aug. 31.
Sanderson Farms confirmed that all its facilities except for its poultry plant in Hammond, La., and the feed mill and hatchery in McComb, Miss., had power.
Chairman and chief executive officer Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., stated that those facilities would operate on generator power until utilities are restored and none of the other facilities in the path experienced structural damage. He hoped that those locations would be back in regular operation later this week.
“We are pleased to report no significant bird loss and currently have 650 broiler houses, 17 pullet houses and 48 breeder houses operating on generator power,” he said. “In anticipation of the storm and resulting power outages, we topped off feed bins and fuel tanks, tested generators and prepared farms before the storm hit to ensure our growers have adequate supplies of feed and fuel to care for flocks until power is restored.”
Sanderson said he expects the facilities to operate over the holiday weekend, including Monday, to catch up on lost production.
The company’s four other poultry facilities were closed on Aug. 30 because they were in the path of the storm. Laurel, Collins, Hazlehurst and Jackson plants are expected to resume operations.
“We are thankful that we have not had any reports of injuries to any of our employees as a result of this devastating hurricane,” Sanderson said. “We have experience managing through catastrophic weather events, and we were prepared to respond to Hurricane Ida and do all we can to protect our assets. Our top priority has been and will continue to be the safety of our employees, contractors and independent contract producers, and the health and wellbeing of the animals under our care.”