News Roundup: April 18-25

By on April 25, 2014

News Roundup logoEach 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.

  • “Caution urged with arrival of spring wildfire season,” Asheville Citizen-Times: The warm spring winds blowing through Western North Carolina’s forests are welcomed by the winter weary, but they put firefighters on edge. With the trees still yet to “leaf out,” sunshine readily reaches the ground, drying out fuels that can feed destructive wildfires. Federal and state forestry officials are urging the public to exercise caution with the arrival of the spring fire season. …
  • “USDA orders farms to report pig virus infections,” Fayetteville Observer: Farms stricken with a deadly pig virus must report outbreaks as part of a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of the disease, the federal government announced Friday. Porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since showing up in the U.S. last May, with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina being hit hardest. …
  • “FDA backs off animal feed rule affecting brewers,” Charlotte Observer: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will revise proposed livestock feed rules after hearing objections about the potential cost from brewers who sell grain leftover from making beer to ranchers and dairy farmers. …
  • Convenience stores offering fresh food in NC’s food deserts,” Winston-Salem Journal: Convenience store owner David Rizik experienced firsthand the benefits of adding fresh fruits and vegetables to his store’s shelves: he lost 25 pounds.Rizik, who owns Mark’s Food Mart along N.C. 33 in Greenville, used to grab a hot dog and chips for lunch during work. Now, like some of his customers, he reaches for an orange or a banana to tide himself over until dinner. …
  • “Berries bounce back from cold snap,” Laurinburg Exchange: Cooley’s strawberry farm, on the outskirts of Wagram, doesn’t sport nearly as many strawberries as this time last year. But pickers get ready — in just a few weeks, according to experts, the short vines will be loaded with ripe, red fruit. A later-than-usual cold snap has set back the ripening process, said Deborah McBryde, who was staffing the local strawberry field on Thursday. But growers are expecting a strong season despite the small setback. N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said it has been a challenging winter for strawberry growers, but the combination of row covers and irrigation set up those growers for an outstanding season.  …
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