KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Poultry companies are making preparations ahead of Hurricane Isaac. The hurricane’s path is forecast to travel through major chicken-producing states, according to Reuters. Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi account for roughly one-third of US chicken production.
Tyson Foods has chicken farms in northern Alabama and central Mississippi. Employees are making some preparations that include topping off feed bins at growers’ farms, reducing levels of wastewater in treatment holding areas, checking generators, cleaning gutters and securing poultry production areas, according to Worth Sparkman, a Tyson spokesman.
Joe Sanderson, chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, said during an earnings conference call with analysts that employees have been working for more than week to prepare for Hurricane Isaac. Isaac is expected to make landfall Wednesday in New Orleans.
"While Isaac's track appears to be such that we will avoid a direct hit, our south Louisiana and Mississippi operations will be affected," Sanderson said. "We began our emergency planning last week, and are prepared to take whatever steps necessary to protect our assets, and assist our growers and employees."
Sanderson said the company's plants would shut down one shift Aug. 28 in Mississippi and Louisiana and then another on Aug. 29.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to make it up Saturday," he said.