News Roundup: Sept. 5 – 11

By on September 11, 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.

  • “NC Farmers Prepare For Bird Flu; ASAP Farm Tour Cancelled,” WLOS:  The Appalachian Sustainable Project (ASAP) cancelled its largest event of the year. The fall Farm Tour was called off, because of concerns about Bird Flu. According to the CDC, the strain of this virus will largely not affect humans, but to poultry it is deadly. A farmer says it’s just a matter of time before the virus reaches NC.  …
  • “North Carolina Celebrates Wine and Grape Month,”  TWC News: (Video) September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month, and wineries and vineyards across the state are planning wine tastings, grape stomps and other special events to celebrate the industry. Over the holiday weekend one Triad vineyard gave wine connoisseurs a first-hand look at how wine is made in the Tar Heel state. Cathy Fowler and her husband Ken consider themselves regulars at Grove Winery and Vineyards in Gibsonville. “We just love having this in our backyard,” said Fowler. …
  • “NCDOT spreads pollinator habitat in roadside flowerbeds,” The News & Observer: The state Department of Transportation is shifting the mix in its roadside wildflower plantings, hoping to attract more bees and other pollinators while sustaining the beauty that motorists have found attractive for the past 30 years. With a grant from Bayer CropScience and a partnership with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, DOT planted 58 acres of sunflowers across the state this spring and will have 28 acres of canola in the ground in western counties this fall. “I’ve always enjoyed the wildflower program as I drive across North Carolina,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Thursday at a state Board of Transportation meeting. “But it’s even better when I know we’re concentrating efforts on creating pollinator habitat.” …
  • “Bird Flu Concerns Lead To Changes at Mountain State Fair,” WLOS: With gray clouds hovering above the midway, you could call it the calm before the storm. Workers prepare for nine days of fun inside the fences at the Mountain State Fair, only this year — there’s a new twist. There’s an agricultural tradition you won’t see. No poultry because of concerns about the avian flu. “We wanna make sure we are prepared,” says NC surveillance veterinarian Karen Beck, showing us one of three signs that will be displayed on the fairgrounds. …
  • “Generational farms keep county apple legacy alive,” Hendersonville Times-News: Trey Enloe earned an engineering degree and worked for large companies like Duke Energy, but Henderson County’s apple orchards lured him home. Enloe, 32, joined his father, Tony Enloe, and his uncle, Mack Enloe, about three years ago in the family business — Lewis Creek Farms on Pilot Mountain Road. He grew up around the orchards and packing house his grandfather and great-uncles owned. “The pay’s not near as good as engineering, and some people might not think it’s glamorous,” he observed, “but there are a lot of perks to being able to be outside, work with fellow farmers.”  …
  • “New federal food safety rules issued after deadly outbreaks,” The News & Observer: Food manufacturers must be more vigilant about keeping their operations clean under new government safety rules released Thursday in the wake of deadly foodborne illness outbreaks linked to ice cream, caramel apples, cantaloupes and peanuts. The rules, once promoted as an Obama administration priority, ran into long delays and came out under a court-ordered deadline after advocacy groups had sued. Even then, the Food and Drug Administration allowed the Aug. 30 deadline to pass without releasing the rules to the public. The new rules will require food manufacturers to submit food safety plans to the government to show they are keeping their operations clean. …
  • “Preventative measures: Case Farms among companies working to prevent avian influenza,” Shelby Star: The spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza in the West and Midwest is having an impact on farming and industry, even in areas where the breakouts have not spread. Industries dealing with livestock, like the poultry industry, are taking extra precautions as they prepare for birds to migrate south during the fall. Case Farms, which has a feed mill in Shelby and farms across North Carolina and Ohio, is one company working to prevent avian influenza at their farms. …
  • “Appeals court blocks pesticide use over concerns about bees,” Charlotte Observer: A federal appeals court Thursday blocked the use of a pesticide over concerns about its effect on honey bees, which have mysteriously disappeared across the country in recent years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not adequately study the pesticide sulfoxaflor before approving its use in 2013 on a wide variety of crops, including citrus and cotton, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. …
  • “NC under quarantine for tree-eating beetle,” WXIA-TV Atlanta: (Video) The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (NCDA&CS) said the entire state is under quarantine for emerald ash borer Thursday. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler signed an emergency order expanding the quarantine for emerald ash borer to include the entire state, following the discovery of borers in several more counties across the state. …
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