News Roundup: June 21-27

By on June 27, 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.

  • “NC Ag Officials In Europe,” News Radio 570 WWNC: The State’s Agriculture Commissioner is on an overseas tour this week to promote what’s grown in the Tar Heel State. Steve Troxler says the trade mission will promote things like tobacco, sweet potatoes, and forestry products. …
  • “Crops in Central Carolina Faring Well,” Southern Farm Network: (Audio) A typical Carolina summer is underway; high temperatures, high humidity and sporadic showers. Don Nicholson, area agronomist with North Carolina Department of Agriculture says crops in his area are faring well: “Even though we would like to see the temperature go down a bit, the crops are befitting from the heat. The cotton is growing and maturing. The tobacco is looking good. Though its not faring well on the sandy lands.” …
  • “What’s up with all the budworms in North Carolina tobacco now?” Southeast Farm Press: We exceed tobacco budworm thresholds at several of our scouting locations last week, which was also the case for a number of growers. This week, however, scouting at some of these same locations has revealed that budworm may still exceed threshold. This was the case at one of our research station experiments at the Lower Coastal Plain Research Station in Kinston, NC. …
  • “Biofuel Crops being Contracted in the Carolinas,” Southern Farm Network: (Audio) Growing specialty crops on contract is nothing new to the Carolinas…many crops are grown on contract these days…from the area’s heritage, tobacco, to fruits and vegetables. But, one thing that is new is crops for use as renewable fuels, and Jeff Wheeler with Reprieve Renewables, based in Greensboro talks with Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles about their concept: “Reprieve Renewables has been operating for almost five years and came together with looking at renewable solutions for crops. The crop we focus on is giant Miscanthus. It has multiple market opportunities. It is a crop that offers economic and environmental benefits.” …
  • “Alamance County Dairy Farmer Has Innovative Idea That Might Save Farm,” WUNC: (Video) Randy Lewis almost lost the family dairy farm in 2009. The price of milk had bottomed out, and costs for feed, fertilizer and fuel had gone sky-high. “It was either find some other way to make money or sell the cows and quit,” he says. But Randy had an idea that might just save the farm. He’s bottling milk right on-site. Of the 150 dairy farmers in the state, only five bottle their own milk. …
  • “Food in the News: Looking peachy,” Salisbury Post: It looks like a good season for peaches, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture. “North Carolina growers produce 70 varieties, each with its own unique flavor,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Peach season typically runs from late May to August, so consumers have time to sample many different varieties this summer.” …
  • “Safety tips when using those patriotic pyrotechnics,” WECT:  The N.C. Forest Service encourages people to celebrate Independence Day by viewing public fireworks displays rather than risk setting wildfires with their own fireworks. “Careless use of Class C fireworks — such as sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices and trick noisemakers — causes many wildfires in the summer,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “And we all know that wildfires endanger peoples’ lives, destroy timber and property, and damage the environment.” If people take the risk of using their own fireworks, here are some simple ways to help keep the holiday safe: …
  • “Retaining farmers in the East is critically important,” WNCT: Every year, farmers across the state add billions of dollars into local economies. With more than 80 percent of field crops grown east of I-95, making sure farmers stay in the East is very important. Mike Skinner is the co-owner of Strawberries on 903. He’s been farming his entire life. “I grew up on this farm,” Skinner said. “This is home.” Mitch Smith with the Pitt County Cooperative Extension says farming is a difficult, and expensive, profession to get into. “You really can’t buy your way into agriculture,” Smith said. “It’s something that you sort of start small.”. …
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