News Roundup: March 22-28
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.
- “Russia approves four U.S. cold storage facilities for pork exports,” Meatingplace.com: Russia has approved four U.S. cold storage facilities to handle pork products headed for export to Russia, according to an updated list on USDA’s website…The approved cold storage facilities include: Carolina Cold Storage in Tar Heel, N.C.; Cloverleaf Cold Storage in Sumter, S.C.; Cloverleaf Cold Storage in Chesapeake, Va.; Cloverleaf Cold Storage in Benson, N.C.
- “Lowes Foods now accepting direct sales from produce farmers,” Triangle Business Journal: When you shop for meat and vegetables at Lowes Foods in the Triangle, there’s a good chance the label will tell you if it came from a local farmer. A new program allows Lowes Foods to buy fresh produce and meats directly from more than 100 small farms in North Carolina. N.C. Growing Together is facilitating the partnership between the N.C. State University Cooperative Extension and local food hubs. …
- “No longer blowing smoke? E-cigarettes could surpass traditional brands, experts say,” News & Observer: When change has come for tobacco during its nearly two centuries as a star of North Carolina’s economy, it usually has arrived at a leisurely pace. Not this time. The crop and products made from it face something that has gutted or transformed many other industries in recent years: a disruptive technology. Electronic cigarettes are winning over smokers so quickly that some analysts predict the battery-powered newcomer could come out on top of traditional cigarettes within a decade. …
- “Farmers along Dan River worry about livelihood,” Greensboro News & Record: Robert Brandon talks about when the Dan River ran gray. “You should have seen it right after it happened,” he said. “Imagine mixing up a bag of cement in there. You stick your hand in it, it’ll turn gray.” That gray water from the Feb. 2 coal ash spill at Duke Energy’s storage pond in Eden may threaten fish and wildlife for generations. Swimmers, boaters and those who fish have lost their refuge for the moment. Now, Brandon may lose his way of life. Brandon is a farmer. He raises cattle on a stretch of land that runs at least a half-mile along the river. …
- “Backers say drones will prove useful for farmers,” Charlotte Observer: Iowa Interest is growing in using unmanned drones to help monitor millions of acres of crops. Drones with infrared cameras and other sensors can help identify insect problems and watering issues early. They can also help assess crop yields and locate missing cattle. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1eBWqo3 ) that supporters believe using drones on farms makes sense because the operations are generally large and in rural areas.
- “Cold bites into peaches; grapes, apples OK for now,” Hendersonville Times: This week’s cold snap likely set back the county’s summer peach harvest, farmers and Cooperative Extension agents say, but the local apple and grape crops appear to have fared better thanks to a late spring that kept buds wrapped up tight. However, farmers say the jury is still out on how much damage sub-freezing temperatures this winter had on those fruits. …
- “New programs aimed at the new farmer,” Salisbury Post: We are not gaining any acreage since most of the best farmland is being bought for homes and development. So where do we even start? That is where N.C. Cooperative Extension, along with N.C. A&T State University and N.C. State University come in. This group is striving to make quality programs to teach new, old and transitioning farmers how to be more efficient, produce better and run their operations as businesses. Someone has to do it, or we will have a lot of “hangry” (hungry and angry) people to deal with when we reach 2050. …
- “Bad hay season strains local farmers,” Jefferson Post: While it may not yet look or feel like it, winter has officially drawn to a close and spring has sprung, and that’s a blessing for many horse and livestock owners in Ashe County. “In past years, we have used around 600 bales (of hay) over the winter, but we’ve blown past that in 2014,” Ann Lisk, owner of Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary, in Glendale Springs, said. The heavy, summer rains and bitter cold temperatures are to blame for the overall bad hay year. …
Posted in: News Roundup
Tagged: agricultural drones
, Carolina Cold Storage
, Cloverleaf Cold Storage
, Coal-ash spill
, cold storage
, cold weather
, Dan River
, food hub
, Lowes Foods
, N.C. A&T State University
, N.C. Cooperative Extension
, N.C. Growing Together
, young farmers