News Roundup: Sept. 26-Oct. 2

By on October 2, 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.

  • “Pork industry wants Duke to use NC swine waste at plants,” Greensboro News & Record: Congress is considering mandating the production of 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol annually by 2015 and that would be bad news for pork producers. The average pig in the United States consumes more than 500 pounds of corn, and an increase in corn’s cost would damage the hog farmer’s bottom line. …
  • “With bottles ready, N.C. distilleries prep for on-site sales,” Triad Business Journal: Come Oct. 1, North Carolinians will be able to do something they haven’t done since before Prohibition — purchase a bottle of liquor directly from their favorite distillery. A change in state law that goes into effect next month means customers can head to one of the state’s growing number of craft distilleries, take a tour and then take home a bottle at the end of their visit. Each customer can purchase only one bottle per year, with distilleries responsible for ensuring that restriction is adhered to. …
  • “Corn & Sorghum Struggling to the Finish Line,”  Southern Farm Network: (Audio) The sudden turn to rainy, humid weather is just insult to injury when it comes to the corn crop, especially in the Coastal Plain where they’ve had a very wet spring and summer. NC State Extension corn specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger says all the corn should out of the field by now, but isn’t: “It has been slow going with the harvest across the state. Some beans are still waiting as well. It’s kept everyone guessing and a bit frustrating with the rain coming and going. This weekend really did slow us down when we needed to get rolling.” Heiniger says mycotoxin issues have been a worry all summer, but with the current rainy, humid weather pattern, it’s now more of a concern. …
  • “Capital Tonight Sept. 28: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler,” TWC News: (Video) On Capital Tonight: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler talks about a fact-finding trip to Cuba, preparations for avian flu, and what to expect at this year’s State Fair. Pat Gannon of NC Insider and Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal join our Reporter Roundtable.
  • “From a Charlotte-area farmer, 5 things to know about pumpkins this season,” Charlotte Observer: There are two things farmer Doug Carrigan wants you to know before you make a pilgrimage to the nearest pumpkin patch this fall: 1) Pumpkins are like people: They come in different shapes and sizes. Some are big and wide; others are small and scrawny. Some are beautiful and attractive; others are homely and “plug-ugly.” 2) You can eat them: You can toss them in a stew or soup or mix up your own pumpkin glaze, sauce or gravy.  …
  • “Turns out, money does grow on trees,” Asheboro Courier-Tribune: Managing your forestland can be an excellent long-term investment. Over the years, income from managed timber stands has exceeded that from most other crops in terms of value added per acre per year. Even managed pre-salable timber stands have increased the property value of forestland substantially over bare or unmanaged, cut-over woodland. Annual returns from 0-40 percent are possible from forest management. The range of returns is wide because of variations in soil productivity, stand condition, tree species, markets (both availability and price fluctuations), intensity of management and availability of financial incentives. …
  • “Farmers urged to prepare for several days of heavy rain to be followed by possible hurricane conditions,” Bladen Journal: Farmers across the state are urged to clear drainage ditches, secure signage and loose objects, stock up on fuel and feed to be prepared for days of wet weather that may be followed by hurricane conditions. The state has already seen almost a week of rain that has saturated the ground. If Hurricane Joaquin tracks close to the coast, it could cause trees to topple and create widespread power outages, something that can be especially devastating to poultry and tobacco farmers. “Now is the time to take a tour through the farm and clean things up to help minimize damage caused by debris, wind and flooding,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. …
  • “Massive Rain Event Threatening Coastal Plan Crops,”  Southern Farm Network: (audio) Massive quantities of rain all season and the potential for a tropical event are just adding insult to injury for Blacklands farmers. Rod Gurganus, Director of Beaufort County Extension: “It seems like for us it’s more bad news. We have been wet all year long. For us we have been hurt by too much water and this is a continuation of that.” Gurganus says all combines are rolling trying to get the remaining corn out of the field: “The guys had hesitated because they don’t have driers on their farm to dry the grain. Unfortunately now with the hurricane potential it puts them in to an almost panic to get the harvest in.” …
  • “Seafood Festival slated to go on despite storm,” Jacksonville Daily News: If you are heading to the North Carolina Seafood Festival this weekend in Morehead City, look for the yellow. More than 50 food vendors will line the streets along the waterfront, serving up the seafood that is the star attraction: shrimp, crab, fish, oysters, clams and more. At a majority of those booths, a yellow flag will be flying to indicate they have local and North Carolina seafood for sale. “People are coming to get the good stuff and we’ll have it for them. Just look for the yellow flag,” NCSF Executive Director Stephanie McIntyre said. …
  • “Cuban tobacco farmers relate well with NC agriculture officials,” WRAL: When conversations happen in different languages, things can often get lost in translation. But in a chat between farmers from Cuba and North Carolina, tobacco is a word that crosses linguistic boundaries. And while the word may be the same, there are major differences between how tobacco is produced in North Carolina and Cuba. North Carolina’s agriculture delegation, which has been exploring new trade opportunities in Cuba this week, noticed the differences right away. …

 

 

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