News Roundup: Aug. 15-22

By on August 22, 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.

  • “Native Son: Winery takes root on family farm,” Asheboro Courier-Tribune: In fields where tobacco once flourished, a new crop has taken over. Planted deep in land that Tammy Smith played on as a child, next to the family farm where she grew up, are the muscadines. Muscadines are the native grapes first mentioned by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 before the United States came into existence. They are as rooted into the soil of North Carolina as her family. …
  • “Caswell site gets land conservancy grant,” Burlington Times-News: The Piedmont Land Conservancy has been awarded $314,000 to assist with the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement in Caswell County. The easement is on 363 acres of a livestock and poultry farm owned by V. Mac and Peggy Baldwin of Yanceyville. Also, the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at Mount Olive University received $192,764 for a project that will serve Alamance County. The grants are part of nearly $2.3 million that the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund awarded to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises. …
  • “Blackland Farm Managers Tour draws big crowd,” Southeast Farm Press: Rainy weather brought muddy fields to the Tidewater Research Station in Plymouth on Aug. 6 which meant field tours had to be taken off the agenda of the 44th annual Blackland Farm Managers Tour, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the more than 400 farmers and others in attendance. “We were very pleased with the tour,” said Beaufort County Extension Agent Rob Gurganus, who served as master of ceremonies. “Of course, we had hoped to do field tours, but we made adjustments and carried on. We fed 430 people, and all told I would guess we had more than 450 people on hand because some folks left before the meal. Without a doubt, valuable information was presented at the tour.” …
  • “Safety first for today’s farmers,” Robesonian: Agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries in the world. Working with heavy equipment, live animals, and various other tasks around the farm create ample opportunities for accidents to occur. Farm workers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. According to a recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 374 farm workers died from work-related injuries resulting in a fatality rate of 20.2 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2012. Tractor overturns were the leading cause of death for farmers and farm workers. …
  • “Forestry plans no longer free,” Wilkes Journal-Patriot: Fees must now be paid for forest management plans developed by the N.C. Forest Service. As required under the state budget recently approved by the N.C. General Assembly, the forest service developed and recently announced a schedule of fees for certain services that previously were free. The fees start with a base charge of $45 for any type of woodland plan and include another $3 per acre for forest management plans and forest stewardship plans and $2 per acre for practice plans.
  • “Apple harvest opens across county,” Hendersonville Lightning: Henderson County apple growers have began harvesting early apples amid guarded optimism that the 2014 crop will bring favorable market prices. Crews fanned out in apple country orchards where the earliest varieties, the yellow Ginger Gold and the popular Gala, have ripened. “We’ve just been getting started harvesting,” said Jack Ruff, an “Enjoy NC Apples” marketing specialist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. …
  • “Swine Producers Ramping Up for another PEDv Season,” Southern Farm Network: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has the reputation of taking the summer off, so to speak, and remerging again in cold weather. Dr. Gene Nemechek, Technical services veterinarian with Zoetis, working with swine producers and swine veterinarians in North Carolina says it’s time to re-evaluate some biosecurity measures: “I think most of them are continuing to think about things like transportation issues that are high risk in spreading the virus. …
  • “Brown marmorated stink bug found at damaging levels in Cleveland County N.C.,” Southeast Farm Press: For those accustomed to the rapid spread of kudzu bugs, the brown marmorated stink bug seems like a slowpoke. This is an insect we’ve been talking and warning about for years. Unfortunately it’s decided to make its debut in Cleveland County. Here are some initial observations about it, predictions, and what should be done. Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invader from Asia. It has been confirmed in many parts of North Carolina, but its main distribution has so far been restricted to the mountains and Piedmont. …
  • “Getting the NC Tobacco Crop to the Finish Line Full of Challenges,” Southern Farm Network: Growing tobacco in North Carolina has been mostly a trouble-free affair, once it got into the ground. But, as we’re aiming for the finish line on this year’s crop Don Nicholson, NCDA Regional Agronomist says some problems are starting to pop up: “Normally we would be saying we are very close to the finish line, but this year we are very late. The crop has been in the field a long time but we are going to start seeing some progress as well as some problems come up. I’m seeing what I call ‘popcorn’ where the stalks are starting to show disease, mainly wilt. And with wet fields, and more moisture, you are seeing folks having to go in and save what they can.”
  • “NC breweries tapped to create ‘state beer,'” News & Observer: It took official acts and legislative debate to get North Carolina a state dog (Plott hound), state flower (dogwood) and state tree (longleaf pine). It will take more than 20 breweries to get a state beer. Margo Knight Metzger, the director of the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild, announced the effort to make a “statewide collaboration beer” Wednesday at a beer industry event at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s new facility in Charlotte. The idea is to create a single beer using all N.C. ingredients and input from a group of N.C. brewers.  …
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