News Roundup: May 11-17

By on May 17, 2013

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.

State Inspectors Testing “Bad Gas” From Jones County Station,” WITN: When you stop to fill up at a gas station, you expect what’s labeled on the pumps is what’s going into your tank. But some drivers in the east say that’s not what happened when they filled their tanks at one gas station in Jones County, and it’s causing major problems. State inspectors visited a Trenton gas station Tuesday morning to see if there is really a problem. …

Berry farmers fret over heat wave,” Asheville Citizen Times:  With the scattered frost in the rear view mirror, mountain berry farmers can now start worrying about the heat. “After this cold front, we’re going to see some of the warmest temperatures we’ve seen, and that’s really going to ripen things up in a hurry,” said Henderson County strawberry grower Danny McConnell. …

N.C. distillery turning leftovers into sweet-potato potable,” Wilmington Star News: Let’s begin this story by picking up the iPad, smartphone or, dare I say, printed page and stepping outside. Scratch around a bit in the first patch of dirt you see. That sandy soil? It’s the backbone of the state’s sweet potato industry, one the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated to be worth $173 million to North Carolina in 2010. …

Celebrate ASAP’s cheese month in Asheville,” Asheville Citizen Times: Brian Ross is the big cheese. To be accurate, Ross is one of several chefs who’ve cooked their way into WNC Chefs Challenge finals, the culinary battle finales happening in Asheville in August. The owner of local specialty market and gourmet deli Dough, Ross has a way with dairy. …

Raeford slaughterhouse to close in July and eliminate 1,000 jobs,” News & Observer: House of Raeford Farms will close its turkey slaughtering plant in Raeford in July and lay off 1,060 people. The company, which first announced plans to shutter the facility in March, informed the state last week that the plant would close by July 27.  …

N.C. Forest Service finds laurel wilt disease in New Hanover County,” Bladen Journal: The N.C. Forest Service has confirmed that laurel wilt, a devastating disease of redbay and other plants in the laurel family, has been identified in New Hanover County in an area near the western edge of Wilmington. The disease has been identified across the Southeast in portions of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. …

Audio: After 17 Years, Fish Farming Still Challenging,” Southern Farm Network: Yesterday on Inside Agriculture we heard from former hog farmer, now tilapia farmer Spencer Dean of TS Dean Farms near Louisberg, North Carolina. Dean started farming tilapia in 1996 as an alternative to hogs, and chose tilapia for its fresh water habitat and white flaky meat.  …

Durham brothers start beef jerky business to bond,” WRAL:  Paul Brock and Eddie Wales both co-own, or own, restaurants. They both grow tomatoes. And they both love beef jerky. Brock, 46, and Wales, 48, are biological brothers. They met about three years ago after Brock said he was able to locate and contact his biological brother with help from a company that linked adopted children with biological relatives.  …

Audio: More Battles Looming for Farm Bill,” Southern Farm Network: Earlier this week, House Ag Chair Frank Lucas spoke to the National Association of Farm Broadcasters as he went into committee for the first mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill: “We will be on the floor in June, told by both comments of leadership and public listenings they have given the membership. But also, whatever we do in the committee, many of the battles, dairy, sugar and the nutrition reforms will be again fought out on the floor of the US House. …

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