News Roundup: June 15-21

By on June 21, 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.

  • House’s rejection of farm bill leaves few options,” News & Observer: The House’s broad rejection of a massive farm bill could signal a shift in the way Congress views agriculture policy. Farm issues once had enormous clout on Capitol Hill, but the healthy agriculture economy and an increased interest in cutting spending have worked against farm-state lawmakers who are now trying to push a farm bill through for a third year in a row.  ….
  • County apple growers look to add hard cider crop,” Hendersonville Times News: The press is on for cider production in Henderson County. Several local entrepreneurs plan to ferment county apples into hard cider for a thirsty buying public, while other area apple growers look forward to sourcing their crop to a growing craft beverage market.  …
  • Vanishing Venus: Flytraps creeping toward extinction,” Wilmington Star News: Thousands of little holes in the ground mean one thing to self-described protectors of North Carolina’s internationally renowned plant. The Venus’ flytrap is going extinct.  …
  • Rapeseed a good fit for North Carolina grain farmer,” Southeast Farm Press: Sam Walton is a young North Carolina farmer with a famous name and big role to play in his family’s large farming operation. Rapeseed, he says, fits in well with their other grain crops and looks to be a long-term part of their farming operation. For a number of years their farming operation was dominated by cotton. …
  • Quarantine issued after invasive ash beetle found,” Winston-Salem Journal: An emergency quarantine was issued Monday for three North Carolina counties after an invasive beetle species was discovered in the state for the first time. Two adult emerald ash borers, a species native to Asia and eastern Russia, were spotted in Granville County last week. …
  • N.C. A&T agricultural experts seek hardier – and tastier – cukes,” Greensboro News & Record: Agricultural experts at N.C. A&T are having a field day with cucumbers. Sanjun Gu, along with associates Kurt Taylor and Grace Summers, is trying to build a better cucumber. The team is conducting trials with four varieties of seedless cucumbers to see if they can be planted earlier, harvested later and produced in greater numbers than conventional cucumbers. …
  • Lillington hog farmer works to lessen the environmental harm,” News & Observer: Tom Butler started raising hogs 17 years ago, pushed into a new venture by the decline in tobacco, which his family had grown for generations in Harnett County. The hogs made his family a more secure living, but they also left behind a distasteful byproduct – two pools of hog waste covering 3.5 acres that emit a mix of greenhouse gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. …
  • Hydrilla: Fast-growing weed threatens to choke Lake Waccamaw,” Fayetteville Observer: Nobody knew what it was at first, just an incredibly fast-spreading aquatic weed near the public boat ramp on Lake Waccamaw. Rob Emens, an invasive species specialist with the state Division of Water Resources, had no such doubts. …
  • Forest Service to limit wild ginseng harvests,” Asheville Citizen Times: Poaching appears to be the culprit in the U.S. Forest Service decision Thursday to severely restrict wild ginseng harvesting in the state’s largest national forests. The amount of ginseng allowed to be harvested in Nantahala and Pisgah national forests this September will be reduced by 75 percent, and the season shortened to two weeks from four, said Kristin Bail, forest supervisor of the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina.  …
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