News Roundup: July 12-18

By on July 18, 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.

  • “NCDA’s ‘Dig Into Local’ Restaurant Week Underway,” Southern Farm Network: This summer’s restaurant promotion through North Carolina Department of Agriculture is a bit different than in years past. Tim Parrish, Food Service Marketing Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, explains: “We have taken a spin off a restaurant week promotion and created a promotion called ‘Dig Into Local Restaurant Week’ as a fixed source week. These chefs are agreeing to put at least four items in their menu that have NC connections.” …
  • “New Sales Tax Exemption Guidelines for North Carolina Farmers,” Southern Farm Network: North Carolina Farm Bureau’s Jake Parker and Paul Sherman are featured in a short video that outlines the new sales tax exemption guidelines that affect the state’s farmers – enacted by the state’s General Assembly recently. Parker and Sherman outline how a farmer maintains sales tax exemption for his farm, and the procedures required to qualify, the forms needed, and corresponding deadlines. …
  • “Hydroponic Lettuce Takes Root In Eastern NC,” Perishable News: Jedd Koehn is a young and innovative agricultural entrepreneur. Raised on an organic row-crop farm in western Kansas, he moved to North Carolina about nine years ago, wanting to live “where it was green.” Last November, his Pitt County company, Coastal Plains Produce, harvested its first crop of hydroponic lettuce. Now he finds himself surrounded by lots of green: 13 kinds of lettuce, plus watercress, arugula and dandelion greens. …
  • “Eat a peach, Asheville,” Asheville Citizen-Times News: Along with tomatoes and corn, peaches rank high on the list of most-coveted summer foods. Even those who rarely set foot in a farmers market are likely to be drawn by the prospect of buying a bushel of the fragrant, fuzzy fruit. How about the thought of a still-warm cobbler with vanilla ice cream mingling with the syrup as it melts? See WNC Parent editor Katie Wadington’s cobbler recipe and peach-buying tips (at the end of this story). The WNC Farmers Market (570 Brevard Road) is bursting with peaches these days, though plenty come from out of state. There’s no shame in that, but plenty of local orchards grow peaches, too, even though we have precious few streets named after the sweet fruit for which Georgia is known. Molly Nicholie, of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project said even though our area is best known for berries and apples, local orchards also bear plenty of peaches and plums. “South Carolina’s heat helps with the sweetness, but it’s not that much hotter,” she said, adding that ASAP’s Local Food Guide lists a large number of local farms growing peaches. …
  • “Store caters to local food lovers,” Winston-Salem Journal: When Becky Zollicoffer worked in a medical office, she never found time to go to farmers markets. She still doesn’t have time, but that’s OK. …
  • “Lorillard deal keeps Greensboro ahead of pack,” Greensboro News & Record: Greensboro leaders breathed a tad easier Tuesday after learning there’s a chance the massive sale of Lorillard might keep many of the tobacco company’s 2,900 jobs intact, including cigarette-making, product research, sales and management functions. As part of the 250-year-old cigarette-maker’s $27.4 billion sale to Reynolds American, a British company — Imperial Tobacco — would take control of Lorillard’s manufacturing, headquarters and research facilities in the Gate City. …
  • “Tobacco Company Merger Not a Great Concern for Producers,” Southern Farm Network: Triad-based Reynolds-American and Lorillard cigarette makers have agreed to merge, who together will have about 45% market share, with Phillip Morris continuing to have the majority of market share in the US. Blake Brown, NC State Extension economist says producers should take note of the merger, but not be especially concerned: “I think its something to take note of but it’s a trend we have seen for three decades. We have seen consolidation consistently and we will see some more. The part they need to be concerned about is what happens with e-cigarettes and noncombustible products. The new types of nicotine delivery will really have an impact on them over the next five years. It could have an impact on how much tobacco the companies need.” …
  • “Good morning! I’m here to scout your crop,” Delta Farm Press: They stir the imagination and tickle the fancy of possibility, but for now, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture are still a work in progress. They don’t zap insects, pull pigweeds or drive hungry deer from soybean fields – just yet. When a GPS signal shifts without warning, they might just land in a ditch full of water. Sometimes, they just fly off into the wild blue yonder. But they can “see” fields from new perspectives, detect pest infestations more quickly, spot problems in equipment and get around the farm faster than you ever could in a pickup truck, leaving you more time to figure out, say, the new farm bill. …
  • “Late blight threatens Carolinas tomatoes,” Lake Norman News: Late blight, the dreaded disease that wiped out the East Coast tomato crop in 2009, has shown up again in North Carolina. First identified in late June on potatoes growing in the Coastal Plain, it has also attacked a field of tomatoes in the mountains near Hendersonville. Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo, plant pathologist with N.C. State University, warns that the late blight pathogen can travel long distances and lurk in gardens and fields until environmental conditions are right, then destroy crops virtually overnight. …
  • “Recent Heavy Rains Not Hampering Crops,” WITN: The summer growing season is well underway and we wanted to see how crops are faring after all the heavy rains we’ve had lately. At the Davenport Farm in Pitt County growers tell us crops like soy beans and tobacco are handling the rain well. They did caution that those crops, along with peanuts and cotton, still have to make it through to the fall before they’ll be ready for harvest. …

 

 

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