News Roundup: Nov. 7-13

By on November 13, 2015

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

  • “Aquaponics gaining interest in our state,” Salisbury Post: Last week, I said that I would write about a recent trip to an aquaponics farm in Raleigh. Lately, aquaponics has become a hot topic, although some have confused it with hydroponics, which is also still popular. Hydroponics is using water as the only medium to grow plants (does not use soil). Aquaponics grows fish and then uses the “fertilized” water to help grow plants. Of course, that is the most simplistic explanation — as you will read, there are a lot more processes to go through before the water gets to the plants. It starts with fish. …
  • “Commercial apple growers win big at State Fair,” Hendersonville Times-News: Henderson County growers took top honors during the annual N.C. State Fair Oct. 15-26, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture. This year’s attendance was over one million, making it one of the highest attended ever. N.C. Cooperative Extension-Henderson County staff members, along with volunteers, evaluated and selected fruit from over 125 bushels of fruit. Everyone helping to put in the display is proud to be a part of the team. The exhibit displayed some of Henderson County’s best fruit for everyone to see and enjoy. Believe it or not, some folks who visited the exhibit didn’t know that apples even grow in North Carolina. Now they know. The following are some varieties that were evaluated: Arkansas Black, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Jonathan, Red Delicious and Rome Beauty. Fruit was selected for uniformity, quality, form, color, true to type and free from all insect and disease blemishes plus free from cuts and bruises. Premiums were awarded for the best collection of fruits based on quality. …
  • “N.C finalists announced for Good Food Awards,” Winston-Salem Journal: Ten North Carolina food producers were recently named finalists for Good Food Awards, including Brasstown Chocolate, based in Winston-Salem. Good Food Awards honor producers whose foods are not only tasty but whose businesses represent “environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.” …
  • “Veterans Healing Farm expands its reach,” Hendersonville Times-News: The sense of a loss of mission can be huge for veterans transitioning into civilian life — often, a civilian job can’t replicate the feeling of purpose and community many who have served in the armed forces are used to. The vision John Mahshie has for the Veterans Healing Farm includes that support – presented in a rounded, holistic approach that feeds multiple layers of needs for both veterans and their families. A planned community center slated to open in the spring will allow the Healing Farm to further its mission by offering Holistic Training Boot Camps. “I think the coolest thing about it is that there’s nothing like it in the country,” said Mahshie, who started operating the farm on Shaw’s Creek in Hendersonville last year. “The goal is to create an intentional, intensive educational approach that will provide veterans with the tools they need.” …
  • “Bringing More Farmers Markets to Service Members,” USDA: As we take time this week to honor America’s veterans, we are also thinking about how we can improve the health and welfare of military communities across the country. That’s why we are so proud to release the first-ever Guide for Farmers Markets on Military Installations. By assisting military installations in establishing farmers markets, the guide will help increase access to fresh, local food for soldiers on military installations. On-base farmers markets also connect members of the military with their surrounding communities and offer family-friendly gathering places where children can learn where their food comes from. In a truly collaborative effort, my agency, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), created this detailed manual with the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Healthy Base Initiative (HBI), and in partnership with Wholesome Wave. It explains how commanders can establish and successfully operate farmers markets on military installations. The guide is filled with effective strategies to bring the benefits of farmers markets to service members and their families stationed at installations across the country. It also highlights success stories, showcasing existing farmers markets on military installations in Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Meade, MD; Fort Belvoir, VA; Camp Lejuene, NC; and Quantico, VA. …
  • “Butterball announces plans to add 250 more Raeford jobs in 2016,” Fayetteville Observer: The vice president of operations for Butterball said Wednesday that plans call for the Raeford turkey processing plant to add another 250 jobs in 2016. Mike Bliss, who was among the company’s executives in attendance for the grand opening of its seventh and newest processing facility, told a crowd of about 90 visitors that the growth “has been phenomenal” at the Raeford plant. “And the success here at this plant is something that doesn’t happen very often in this business,” he said. In February, when Garner-based Butterball and Gov. Pat McCrory jointly announced the company was buying the former House of Raeford turkey cook plant, the transaction was expected to create 367 jobs in Hoke County over the next three years. …
  • Severe flooding finalizes bad year for tobacco farmers,” Southeast Farm Press: The rain that flooded much of the tobacco-growing area of South Carolina would have had a catastrophic impact on leaf yield if it had fallen a month earlier. But William Hardee, area Extension agronomy agent for Horry and Marion Counties — both in northeastern South Carolina and both smack in the path of the October 1-3 rains — said that by the time the storm began, there was not much tobacco left in the field. And what was left was ridden by disease and likely wouldn’t have yielded very much even if conditions had been ideal. “We’d had perfect disease weather the last week or 10 days of September,” Hardee said. “There was bad bacterial wilt along with sunscald that we’d had earlier.” …
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