News Roundup

News Roundup: Jan. 13-20

By on January 20, 2017

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.

  • “More land for DuPont State Forest,” Asheville Citizen-Times: (Video) DuPont State Forest Supervisor Jason Guidry discusses recently acquired land and the types of recreation allowed at DuPont.
  • “Trump taps former Georgia governor for agriculture secretary,” Charlotte Observer: After weeks of speculation, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was selected to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, according to an official knowledgeable of the nomination but not authorized to speak publicly. Some agriculture leaders see Perdue, who grew up on a farm and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine, as a strong supporter of farmers and ranchers who understands the issues facing rural America. But his selection was immediately met with criticism from others. …
  • “Hurricane Matthew drowned a state-run tree nursery, but ‘godsend’ funding will save it,” The News & Observer: When the floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew receded, a state-run tree nursery in Goldsboro took stock of the damage. Most of the property had been under water for five days. Some tree seedlings had floated away. The Little River left behind sediment in some places and created six-foot-deep gullies in others. Claridge Nursery, the largest tree facility run by the N.C. Forest Service, sells seedlings to private land owners across the state to encourage the planting of native tree species – but had to issue refunds to customers after the October storm. Now the nursery is recovering from the devastation, with a big boost from the $200 million disaster relief bill that legislators and then-Gov. Pat McCrory approved last month. “The funding we received was a godsend,” said James West, who manages the facility. “Without it, there would be 13 people that didn’t have a job.” …
  • “Hearing on proposed fishing limits draws a thousand,” New Bern Sun Journal: Commercial fishermen, biologists, conservationists and seafood consumers came out in force Tuesday in New Bern to stop proposed regulations that would restrict commercial fishing in North Carolina’s sounds and estuaries. Several shrimp boats traveled up the Neuse River and anchored off Union Point Park for Tuesday’s meeting at New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, a meeting that drew about a thousand people, most of them opposed to a petition from the nonprofit N.C. Wildlife Federation to restrict commercial fishing in North Carolina. Committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted at the end of the 7½-hour meeting to recommend denying the petition that would have restricted the number of days commercial fishermen could fish in special secondary nursery areas to three a week (four days per week in the ocean); reduce headrope length on shrimp trawlers to 90 feet from 220 feet in internal coastal waters and 110 feet in the ocean; and calls for a mesh size study on fishing nets to limit the harvest of juvenile Atlantic croaker and spot. …
  • “Farmers find getting goods into markets a challenge,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Local food is an important industry in Asheville, a city with an abundance of groceries touting mountain-made products and hundreds of farms ringing the area. But in some cases, small farmers and large natural foods stores are finding they just aren’t a natural fit — and that can prove costly for small operations trying to navigate the big business bureaucracy that comes with chains like Whole Foods and others. We’re all working really hard to do this thing that, on some level, doesn’t totally make sense,” said Walter Harrill, owner of Imladris Farms, an Asheville producer of local jams, butters and smoked ketchup. “Large grocery stores, in particular, are facing this dichotomy of serving a large clientele, and yet the pressure right now is for them to deal with smaller and smaller vendors,” he said. “Those two worlds don’t automatically overlap.” …
  • “Reynolds board agrees to accept $49.4B offer from BAT,” Winston-Salem Journal: The mega-offer of British American Tobacco Plc buying full ownership of Reynolds American Inc. has been accepted by the Reynolds board today. Getting Reynolds to accept the offer required BAT raising its offer by another $2.4 billion – worth now $49.4 billion at the end of trading Monday – for the remaining 57.8 percent of Reynolds that BAT did not already own. As a result, Reynolds shareholders will own 19 percent of BAT, which would become the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco manufacturer. …
  • “After Trump meeting, Bayer-Monsanto pledge could mean jobs in RTP,” WRAL: Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Would a Monsanto-Bayer merger mean more jobs for the Triangle if the incoming Trump administration OKs it? The crop science giants say they will look to hire “agriculture: geneticists, roboticists, satellite imagery specialists, engineers, data scientists, advanced breeders and statisticians.” And Bayer has a major presence in RTP where its North American crop operations are based. President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting last week with the CEOs of Bayer and Monsanto is generating a lot of headlines – so much so, in fact, that the two executives issued a joint statement about their plans to create jobs and invest billions in research and development if a proposed $57 billion wins approval. …
  • “Land management program approved for hundreds of acres,” Salisbury Post: After lumbering through details of a parking lot lease, Rowan County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to create a land management program for hundreds of acres of county-owned property. After talking about the issue over the past few years, commissioners approved a lease that will give the Rowan County Fair Association the ability to use 5 acres of county land as a parking lot. The land is part of a 24-acre tract adjacent to the fairgrounds. As part of another item approved Tuesday, the NC Forest Service will aid the county in drafting a land management program for all county-owned land. …
  • “Matthews Family wins North Carolina Corn Yield Contest with 320 bushels,” Southeast Farm Press: Matthews Family Farms of Yadkin County garnered the highest yield in the 2016 North Carolina Corn Yield Contest with a yield of 320.20 bushels per acre on irrigated ground. The contest results were announced at the North Carolina All Commodities Conference in Durham, Jan. 13. Kevin Matthews and his family were named the Irrigated Division champion and planted the variety Pioneer 1311AM at 44,000 plants per acre on 22 inch rows. Matthews Family Farm also received the No-Till Champion award for this class as well. …
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