News Roundup: March 21-27

By on March 27, 2015

News Roundup - this week's top news stories about NC agriculture

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.

  • “Strawberries, Greenhouse Tomatoes Delayed This Year,” WFMY: Strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes should be nearly ready for picking this year, but a harsh winter and chilly Spring temperatures are delaying this year’s season by at least 10 days. Rudd Farm in Greensboro said picking season likely will start the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May this year. Strawberries thrive in warm temperatures, and even greenhouse tomatoes need sunlight. Thus, both crops have been struggling to bloom in the growing season. Rudd said the season will be shorter this year, as picking must finish when temperatures get hot, or else the strawberries will over-ripen. Price-wise, Rudd expects only a slight increase. …
  • “Danelle Cutting: Farmer has passion for what he does,” Salisbury Post: As the temperatures rise, everyone gets excited about gardening, farming and being outside. This seems to occur around the last week of March, the same time that N.C. A&T Small Farms week starts. This year was once again a beautiful week to celebrate small farms. We kicked off the 29th Annual Small Farms Week in gorgeous Burnsville at Mountain Heritage High School. Their FFA students greeted the attendees and the 2014 Small Farmer of the Year, Ryan Wiebe, of Wiebe Farmin’. …
  • “Farming couple bounces back from flood with CSA,” Hendersonville Times-News: In 30 years of farming, Randy Edmundson had never seen anything like the summer of 2013. More than 50 inches of rain fell in six months, flooding virtually all of the 110 acres that Edmundson had planted in the French Broad valley. When the waters receded, he was left with just 12 acres of tomatoes and peppers. “It’s a miracle he didn’t go under,” said Craig Mauney, a commercial vegetable agent with the local N.C. Cooperative Extension office. …
  • “Tractors, cows in Brickyard take NC State to its roots,” News & Observer: Imagine farm animals and large green tractors taking over the Brickyard, the crossroads of N.C. State University. What about college deans, N.C. Department of Agriculture officials and a TV weather personality squeezing on Queenie and Plato for all they’re worth in a cow-milking contest at the state’s largest institute of higher learning? Udder-ly ridiculous you say? Not so much. The N.C. State chapter of Alpha Zeta, an honors agriculture fraternity, has been hosting Agriculture Awareness Week activities in the heart of campus since Sunday.  …
  • “Group attends state Agriculture Appreciation Day,” Lexington Dispatch: A group of approximately 30 students, teachers, Farm Bureau agents, county commissioners and other interested parties chartered a bus to Raleigh on March 18 to celebrate National Agriculture Appreciation Day and to discuss issues facing today’s farmers. Supporters of agriculture gathered on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Gov. Pat McCrory speak about the importance of agriculture in North Carolina. McCrory said agriculture is still the biggest industry in North Carolina, and residents should thank and support those who provide these products.  …
  • “Deer farming compromise reached in new proposal,” News & Observer: (Video) A new N.C. Senate proposal would transfer oversight and regulation of deer farms from the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission to the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Bill sponsor Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Sampson, said the measure would set “the stage for an entirely new agricultural industry to take root and thrive in this state.”
  • “Agriculture Summit showcases future of farming,” Smithfield Herald: As North Carolina looks to grow its economy, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says the state has historically failed to play to its strengths in agriculture and agribusiness. “We’ve been the red-headed stepchild, but things are changing now,” he said recently. “This is one of the most exciting times to be involved because we have a lot of people pulling in the same direction.” His message got a warm reception March 12 at the Wilson Regional Agriculture Summit, held at Scott Farms near Lucama. The event drew about 400 people from Johnston, Edgecombe, Greene, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties. …
  • “US (NC): Farmers seek fast track to Cuba,” FreshPlaza.com: State agriculture officials met Friday with a U.S. Department of Agriculture official to discuss fast-track trade deals and getting access to the Cuban market. Fast-track, otherwise known as trade promotional authority, is a congressional permission slip for the president to negotiate trade contracts with other countries. Congress is expected to vote on it later this year. North Carolina’s agriculture industry backs fast-track because it can open new markets for exports more quickly. …
  • “State’s wine, grape industry charts its course,” News & Observer: North Carolina’s wine and grape industry has experienced exponential growth in the past decade, employing more than 7,600 people, including many in Johnston County. Now the industry has a five-year roadmap for continued growth and economic impact. …
  • “Fighting the wild ginseng poachers,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Travis Cornett didn’t realize the man he was chasing through the woods, away from his ginseng patch, had a rap sheet that included a first-degree murder conviction. Cornett, the owner of High County Ginseng in Boone, had heard from neighbors that David Presnell had been rooting around his wild-simulated ginseng beds on a Friday. When Presnell returned a week later to poach more of the ginseng, Cornett’s neighbors alerted him again. “So I just went and confronted him and called the law,” said Cornett. …
  • “NC small farms success part of national trend,” WNCT: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pointing to the contribution small farms have in the agricultural industry. It compiled data from the 2012 census. Part of it included a state-by-state breakdown. There is over 50,000 farms in North Carolina. Non-family farms total 1,624. Out of $12,588,142 reported in total sales, family-operated farms contributed to 87% of that. …
  • “Bi-Lo looking for local goods to sell in NC, SC stores,” Charlotte Observer: Bi-Lo wants to encourage more locally made goods at its grocery stores throughout the Carolinas. The Greenville, S.C., grocery chain is expanding its “Bi-LOcal” program, which gives local businesses the chance to have their products sold at local Bi-Lo stores, into the North Carolina and South Carolina. Bi-Lo will host a pitch event April 16 in Greenville, S.C., where selected entrepreneurs can showcase their products to a selection committee. …

 

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