News Roundup: Feb. 8-14

By on February 14, 2014

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.

  • “NC Ag Commissioner Addresses Issues to Agriculture,” Southern Farm Network(Audio) In his recent ‘State of Agriculture’ address during the 9th annual Ag Development Forum, NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler outlined a few challenges for agriculture in the immediate future: “There are some things coming that will directly affect us in a negative way if they are not done right. One will be the implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act. We have spent more time in the department on this issue than any other.” …
  • “Tobacco growers take issue with trade agreement,” The Caswell Messenger: North Carolina tobacco growers this week have taken exception to a letter signed by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and his counterparts that supports excluding the crop from a pending international trade agreement. “I’ve heard an earful about it this week while talking with farmers at the Southern Farm Show,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said today (Feb. 7) before speaking at the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s annual meeting. “Tobacco farmers are mighty upset, and understandably so.
  • “Prime Lumber named N.C. Exporter of the Year,”Southern Farm Network: The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services today recognized Prime Lumber as the 2014 N.C. Exporter of the Year. The Exporter of the Year award honors agribusinesses that have excelled in exporting their products around the world. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented the award to Prime Lumber’s partners Bill Graban and Jeffrey Neidert during the Ag Development Forum at the State Fairgrounds. The Thomasville-based company processes and sells hardwoods for use in furniture, architectural millwork, cabinetry, flooring, musical instruments and decorative items. …
  • “Technology aiding poultry industry,” Charlotte Observer: When Bill Massey started working for Mountaire in Selbyville 25 years ago, the company was producing 650,000 chickens a week. Today, the company processes 6 million a week. While that is due in part to the addition of facilities in Millsboro and North Carolina, the increase can also be attributed to technology. Since the company was founded in 1914, nearly every aspect of growing and processing a chicken has been affected by the mechanization and computerization of the industry. …
  • “Beer is big business in Western North Carolina,” Asheville Citizen-Times: WNC’S BIGGEST BREWERIES: Sierra Nevada, Mills River. 65 employees, expects to produce 300,000 barrels of beer this year for sale around the East Coast and Europe. Oskar Blues, Brevard. 38 employees, 46,000 barrels of beer produced in 2013 for sale around East Coast. Highland Brewing, Asheville. 50 employees, 32,000 barrels produced in 2013 for sale in nine Southeastern states.Asheville Brewing, Asheville. 14 employees. 7,800 barrels of beer produced in 2013 for sale in Western North Carolina. Green Man Brewing, Asheville. Eight employees, just more than 5,000 barrels of beer produced in 2013 for sale across North Carolina. Pisgah Brewing, Black Mountain. Ten employees, 3,500 barrels produced in 2013 for sale in WNC. Catawba Brewing, Morganton. Opening Asheville brewery in 2014. Ten employees, 2,500 barrels of beer produced in 2013 for sale in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Twenty years into Asheville’s craft beer revolution, brewing has exploded into a multimillion-dollar business around Western North Carolina. And it’s only getting bigger. …
  • “Southeast cattle suffer poor forage, death and troubled calving,” Southeast Farm Press: Southeast cattle producers report an unusual number of cows getting diarrhea, dying soon after calving or dying unexpectedly. Low-quality forage is the likely culprit, say University of Georgia cattle specialists who issued a special alert to producers. “This past growing season’s near daily rainfall caused a lot of delays in our hay and silage fields. The consequence is that a lot of very poor quality forage was put up this year. … Hay that is this low in quality can have lingering effects for months to come. …
  • “(Audio) LP Gas Shortages and High Prices Continue,” Southern Farm Network: Many producers are seeding tobacco greenhouses, and calling for propane to heat them.  That bill may come with a little sticker shock…in some cases double what producers paid last year.  Paul Sherman, air and energy programs director for NCFB explains: “There is a shortage of propane at the local level. A lot of it stems from the cold weather here as well as the Midwest and the northeast. There has been a run on the amount of propane that has been used and it’s taxed the transportation system to get the propane from its source in the Gulf of Mexico and in the areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio to the end users. That has put a crunch on the supply on the local level.  …
  • “You can eat local produce all winter long,” Asheville Citizen-Times: For many, the taste of fresh produce, including beans, berries, squash, greens, and tomatoes, has become a dim memory. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance during the summer months, but during the winter, local produce is almost non-existent. “You can remedy the problem of no local, fresh vegetables in the winter by becoming a member of Winter Sun Farms,” Chris Reedy, executive director of Blue Ridge Food Ventures, said. Winter Sun Farms is operated by the non-profit agribusiness incubator Blue Ridge Food Ventures.  …
  • “Chinese buyers tour Lenoir distillery,” Lenoir News-Topic: It’s a product that’s uniquely Western North Carolinian, conjuring images of backwoods mountain men brewing spirits in copper stills nestled in hollows. And soon, perhaps, a batch of traditional mountain apple brandy distilled in Lenoir could be bought halfway around the globe in China. Carolina Distillery owner Keith Nordan, also president of the North Carolina Distillers Association, played hosted Tuesday to a group of Chinese business representatives touring the state and visiting distilleries to find fresh new products for the rapidly-growing Chinese market. …
  • “Pair of Wilmington chefs to face off in Fire on the Dock finals,” Wilmington Star News: Local chefs have been shut out of the championship round of Fire on the Dock, the coastal leg of the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, since the contest began in 2012. But this year, a pair of Wilmington cooks, both well-seasoned by three years of competitive experience, will face off for the victor’s revered red chef’s jacket. …
Print Friendly, PDF & Email