News Roundup: July 23-29

By on July 29, 2016

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.

  • “Tomato industry still going strong in Rowan County,” Salisbury Post: Tomato culture runs deep in the Woodleaf area. There’s the Tomato Festival, being celebrated for the 10th year in August, and a Tomato Drop to bring in the New Year. David Correll of Correll Farms at 1185 Woodleaf-Barber Road said tomatoes are his biggest crop. “Tomatoes are very important for our farm,” he said. Although the farm has diversified by growing other vegetables, it still relies on tomatoes for a big chunk of its income. Correll’s father and uncle started Correll Farms in 1959, and he said some farms have been growing tomatoes for close to 90 years. “It’s a tradition in the area,” he said. …
  • “Mexico offers tremendous potential for U.S. sweet potatoes,” The Produce News: The American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute, which was formed in 2013 to promote the unique attributes of U.S. sweet potatoes abroad, believes Mexico has tremendous potential for U.S. sweet potato exports over the coming years. With the help of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s Emerging Markets Program, ASPMI recently conducted an assessment of the Mexican market for U.S. sweet potatoes, concluding that opportunities abound for U.S. exports if Mexican buyers better understand the grades, sizes and superior quality of U.S. product.  …
  • “Governor McCrory signs Farm Act of 2016,” Mountain Xpress: Governor Pat McCrory was joined by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, state legislators and agriculture leaders from throughout North Carolina today as he signed the Farm Act of 2016. “This is a great day for agriculture and our entire economy,” said Governor McCrory. “This Farm Act will support North Carolina agriculture and farmers in our state and build on our accomplishments to make the industry even larger.” Among the many provisions, the Farm Act of 2016 will help the state respond to agricultural emergencies. The bill also gives North Carolina school districts the ability to prioritize purchasing food grown and raised in North Carolina. In addition, regulations are streamlined for construction, installation, repair, replacement or alteration of farm structures. …
  • “Joe Ovies talks to North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler on the craft beer industry’s impact on farmers and the state’s economy,” 919 Beer Podcast
  • “Of hemp and GOP ‘fans’,” Asheboro Courier-Tribune: Many people know Asheboro’s Bob Crumley as a personal injury attorney and entrepreneur. What they may not know — I certainly didn’t before hearing him speak to the Asheboro Rotary Club this week — is his role as a crusader to restore North Carolina’s hemp industry. Before you dial 911 and report him for cultivating the “demon weed,” it’s all perfectly legal. A little history … Dating back to Jamestown, Va., hemp was a staple in America, providing fiber that could be used for clothing, paper, rope, medicine and a host of other uses. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers. The first two copies of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper. Betsy Ross’ first flag was made of hemp cloth. Because of our location and soil types, North Carolina, along with Tennessee and Kentucky, once led the nation in producing the plant. In fact, Robbins, in nearby Moore County, was such a center for Tar Heel production, it was once called Hemp and provided most of the rope the Navy used in World War II. Enter William Randolph Hearst. The California publishing magnate, in conspiracy with the plastics industry, led a successful campaign to destroy the industry. …
  • “Heat Wave too Late to Do Heavy Damage to Corn,” Southern Farm Network: (Audio) Since March, Dr. Ron Heiniger, NC State Extension Corn Specialist has said we have a promising corn crop. With planting dates all over the board, some of the crop is at a vulnerable stage with this week’s heat wave: “Every farmer I’ve talked to has said he wanted one more rain, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, the forecast doesn’t show much promise right now.” As is usually the case, the damage from heat is going to depend on when it was planted: “We had corn planted in March, we had corn planted in May, we even had double-crop corn planted in June. The corn that was planted before the first of May isn’t going to get much damage, quite frankly, looking at that corn, most of it is at dent stage, well corn at dent stage is literally about done. All it needs is what nutrients it’s got in the stalk, or what carbohydrates it can transfer into the grain, it really doesn’t need much photosynthesis. So, that corn isn’t going to take much damage despite the heat. Now corn that isn’t at the dent stage is still in the process of trying to build starch into those kernels, why that corn planted in say, early May, that corn is going to take some damage in the form of smaller kernels, lower kernel weight that’s going to hurt yields to some extent, just depending on how fast this corn is going to dry out and how fast this corn changes.” …
  • “Dollar General buys former Walmart Express building in Liberty,” Greensboro News & Record: Looks like the vacant Walmart Express in Liberty won’t be empty much longer. According to the Triad Business Journal, Dollar General Corp. said it has purchased that location at 632 W. Swannanoa Ave. and 11 others in central North Carolina.  The company plans to relocate existing store locations into each of the purchased sites by October, according to the report.  Dollar General also plans to expand its product line to include fresh meat and produce. The company will also take over the fueling stations in each location except in Carthage. Below is the list of additional properties that Dollar General will take over: …
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