Sequester could hurt NC agriculture

March 5, 2013 10:00:50 AM PST
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Tuesday he's concerned that furloughs affecting federal inspectors brought on by the sequester may mean slowdowns at North Carolina meat processing plants.

That could impact the state's hog and poultry industries.

"What's gonna happen, they're gonna cut the amount of money that comes to the meat inspection division. So on one side, the state will have its 50 percent, but the federal government won't have the money on their side so we're gonna have to figure out how do we rotate these inspectors around, to try our best to keep commerce from being disrupted," Troxler explained.

North Carolina will still have meat inspectors on duty, but Troxler said the loss of some for even a brief furlough period will hurt.

"Agriculture employs about 18 percent of all of the employment in North Carolina, either directly or indirectly, so this could have a significant impact," he explained.

Like other consequences of the sequester, the furloughs loom in the not so distant future - and could possibly affect supply and prices at your neighborhood grocery store.

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