News Roundup: Sept. 28-Oct. 4

By on October 4, 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

  • “Wood pellet facility at Morehead City port poised for approval by NC Council of State,” The (Columbus, Ind.) Republic: North Carolina agribusiness and workers could soon benefit from an operation at the Morehead City port to ship wood pellets to Europe. The Council of State planned to meet Tuesday to give the final sign-off on a deal approved last week by the North Carolina State Ports Authority so a company called WoodFuels can build a $25 million export facility.  …
  • “Economist doubtful farm bill will get done by end of year,” Southeast Farm Press: The trick to talking about the farm bill is trying to find something new to say about a process that has been dragging on for about two and a half years, says Texas A&M Extension Economist Steven Klose. “Whenever we talk about farm policy, it’s the same old song,” said Klose at this week’s Southern Region Agricultural Outlook Conference in Atlanta. Due to market conditions, current farm policy hasn’t played a large role recently, he says. “We haven’t talked about loan rates for a while now, and counter-cyclical payments are pretty much out of the picture right now. ” …
  • “NC Ag Commissioner Requests Delay on Food Safety Modernization Act,” Southern Farm Network: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is calling on Congress to delay finalization of new federal food safety rules until more public input can be factored into developing a final comprehensive program. Troxler said in a release that “We all want the same thing — a food safety program that works and does not unduly penalize U.S. growers. There’s no question we need FSMA, but it should be a well-thought-out program. This will be a complex program, and I strongly believe a short delay on the frontend will likely save us from unwanted outcomes and unintended consequences in the end.”  …
  • “Franklin shelter fined for shooting dog,” WRAL:  The director of the Franklin County Animal Shelter faces a $5,000 fine and the facility could see its license suspended for six months used a .22 rifle to dispatch an injured basset hound, a method of euthanasia that is outside the approved guidelines for sick or injured animals. Taylor Bartholomew reported his action to the state Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Section, and he was disciplined.  …
  • “Make North Carolina State Fair a Homecoming,” The Examiner: Will the North Carolina State Fair feel like a Homecoming? The N.C. State Fair opens their gates on October 17th until October 27th, turning the grounds into a giant fun park. That’s right, it’s back! The fair, the fair, the unforgettable fair. Time to make plans but first, back to the Homecoming. …
  • “Sale of Smithfield Creates Long-term Security for Livestock & Row Crop Farmers,” Southern Farm Network: The ink is barely dry on the sale of Smithfield Foods to Chinese conglomerate Shuanghui International. Dr. Nick Piggott, Ag Economist at NC State says he has nothing but optimism for the future of Smithfield and its employees: “That’s the reassuring thing about the deal as its been inked, there was some concern about foreign ownership, but the promise that it will be business as usual, and employment contracts will stay in place, means that I’m very optimistic about the deal and it offers a great opportunity for the US pork industry to grow internationally.”  …
  • “October is apple season in Asheville,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Chris Reedy is making the most of apple season. Reedy runs Winter Sun Farms, a CSA operated by Blue Ridge Food Ventures, which provides processed, locally grown produce to members. That processing generally takes the form of freezing fruits and vegetables for winter use. But lately Winter Sun is getting into added-value food making. Product development has included applesauce made from some of Hendersonville’s Moss Farms’ apples — to the tune of what’s likely to add up to 3,000-4,000 pounds of fruit.  …
  • “Farm Bureau provides funds to research station,” Wilmington Star News: While New Hanover is not anywhere close to a top-ranking agricultural production county, it makes a large contribution to the state’s agriculture in the way of research. Marine and biological research is conducted at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the county is also home to one of the state’s research station facilities. At the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Castle Hayne, there is plenty of research going on concerning fruits and vegetables. …
  • “NC counties battle beetles,” The Daily Tar Heel: A vicious intruder is making its way to Orange County. The tree-killing emerald ash borer has been found as close as 30 miles away in Person, Vance and Granville counties in recent months, said Robert Trickel, the head of the Forest Health Branch of the N.C. Forest Service. This unwelcome guest appeared last week in Warren County, which is about 70 miles northeast of Orange County, Trickel said. Trickel said the arrival of this beetle in Orange County is unavoidable. “It is imminent,” he said. “It is a beetle that is hard to find. It moves kind of quickly.” The beetle infects ash trees by laying the eggs of its larvae inside the tree, said Kelly Oten, a forest health specialist with the N.C. Forest Service. Within a few years, the entire tree dies. …
Print Friendly, PDF & Email