News Roundup: Feb. 11-17

By on February 17, 2012

Each week we round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from news outlets across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to the full story.

  • Helping farmers is a way of life for Knightdale man,” News & Observer: For farmers, the government is a powerful ally – offering cheap loans, tax breaks and cost-sharing programs to help improve their land. But a history of discrimination has shut many minority farmers out of these perks, while leaving others unaware of them or unwilling to seek them out. It’s a problem Archie Hart has been chipping away at during 20 years heading the small farm section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences – both as an adviser who spends most of his workdays checking in on farms across the state, and more recently as an advocate at the national level. …
  • NC looks to give farmers markets a hand with ads,” WRAL: North Carolina agriculture officials are looking to help smaller farmers markets around the state get the word out about the local products they sell. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will begin accepting applications March 1 from markets seeking grants to help with advertising. …
  • Organic milk low as demand up and farmers struggle,” Charlotte Observer: “Got milk?” is getting to be a difficult question when it comes to organic. Because even as more consumers are willing to pay premium prices for organic milk, supermarkets are having trouble keeping it on the shelves as high feed and fuel prices have left some organic dairy farmers unable to keep up with demand. …
  • Napolitano says bio, agro-defense facility needed,” Charlotte Observer: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says a national biological and agricultural defense laboratory in the U.S. remains necessary despite the Obama administration’s decision not to include construction funding in its budget request. …
  • N.C. commercial Irish potato growers to vote on assessment program,” Perishable News: Commercial Irish potato growers in a nine-county area in the northeastern part of the state will vote in March on the renewal of an assessment program that supports promotional and research work of the N.C. Potato Association Inc. Official ballots will be mailed March 15 to all potato growers eligible to vote on the assessment. …
  • Barbecue chefs, DNC could be your ticket to greatness,” Charlotte Observer: Here’s a chance for Charlotte-area sauce makers to flaunt their barbecue game. Bidding opens today for an official barbecue sauce for the Democratic National Convention. Makers must tout the Carolinas’ three regional styles: vinegar (Eastern North Carolina), tomato-based (Western and Piedmont) and mustard-based (South Carolina.) The trio of flavors will be sold together as a gift pack on the convention website. …
  • Forest Service does controlled burns in county,” Salisbury Post: Feb. 13-19 is Prescribed Fire Awareness Week in North Carolina and the N.C. Forest Service is using this time to get some needed burning done. Crews with the N.C. Forest Service conducted controlled burns on more than 560 acres across four counties reducing potential wildfire fuel, improving wildlife and improving the overall health of the forests. …
  • Soybean prices rise on forecast for tighter supply,” Charlotte Observer: The price of soybeans rose Monday because of speculation that global supplies will become tighter as demand grows more robust. Soybeans for March delivery increased 23 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to $12.52 per bushel, the highest ending price since mid-October. …
  • There’s strong area interest in Friends of Agriculture,” Lake Norman News: The 20 or so farmers and food system activists looked a bit out of place Tuesday morning, clustered around tables in an ornate room generally reserved for high-class weddings and corporate powwows at the posh Ballantyne Resort Hotel in South Charlotte. In spite of the very un-farm-like setting, this meeting of the Mecklenburg County Friends of Agriculture explored ideas that eventually could make urban farming more viable in University City and across the region. …
  • Cheese in the works for historic dairy farm,” McDowell News: Since 1927, the farm’s Holstein cows are milked twice a day, every day, at 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. And they haven’t missed one since. Terry English, farm owner, has business logs dating back to its first dairy shipment on June 6, 1927. …
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