News Roundup

News Roundup: July 1-7

By on July 7, 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.

  • “Dicamba drift complaints popping up in North Carolina now,” Southeast Farm Press: Complaints of dicamba drift are popping up across North Carolina. “We began hearing of off-target incidents last week. I probably hear of one-tenth or fewer of the incidents. If that’s the case, we have quite a few. I know of many growers who have treated a lot of acreage with no problems, but I also know of situations where people have ignored the stewardship practices we promoted and drift has occurred,” said Alan York July 3. York is the weed specialist and William Neals Reynolds professor emeritus of crop science at North Carolina State University. In February and March, N.C. State conducted mandatory training for farmers and others who want to apply the new auxin herbicides on cotton and soybeans. York says to his knowledge no complaints have been filed yet with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. But that could change. “It seems that growers are trying to work the problems out among themselves, which is a good thing. But goodwill goes only so far. I remind growers that we have a time-limited registration for Xtendimax and Engenia. We have them for two years,” York said. “At the end of two years, EPA will reexamine the situation. In granting the registrations, EPA made it very clear that if off-target incidents occur at ‘unacceptable frequencies’ (EPA’s words), those registrations will not be renewed,” he said. “In other words, we have to prove to EPA that we have sense enough to use the products without off-target problems. And while we are far from the Mid-South situation, we are not necessarily off to a good start,” York added. “Growers are learning that these products are not the silver bullet they were perhaps expecting. Nevertheless, with resistance to more modes of action popping up, we need all the tools we can get. It will be a shame if a few hard heads cause us to lose this technology.” …
  • “Want to start a tree farm? Some tips,” Salisbury Post: North Carolina is blessed with abundant forest land that makes valuable contributions to the quality of life and the state’s economy. More than 90 percent of these forests are privately owned; private, non-industrial landowners own roughly 75 percent of these forests. Tree farms are more than pine plantations or Christmas tree farms. Tree farms are varied in nature and contain many different habitats and stages of forest regeneration, from seedlings to mature timber. The American Tree Farming System (ATFS) was established in response to concerns that America’s private forests were being cut at unsustainable rates without reforestation. It all began in 1941 when the first tree farm was designated in Washington State. The tree farm’s purpose was to demonstrate sound forest management practices to area landowners. Sound, sustainable forests begin with determining objectives, deciding what resources are available on your land, and developing a written forest management plan that meets ATFS standards and guidelines as well as meeting your forest needs for generations to come. Sustainable forestry is defined as managing our forests to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat and aesthetics. The North Carolina Forest Service or a professional consulting forester can answer your questions and help you develop your management plan to become a certified American Tree Farm. …
  • “Rains hamper crops; Growers delayed, worry about disease,” Hendersonville Times-News: More wet weather is giving Henderson County farmers headaches this week. The continuing wet spring has put growers weeks behind schedule, washed out and flooded crops, and kept plants wet enough for diseases to take hold. Some parts of the county saw as much as 4 or 5 inches of rain Monday night and Tuesday, mostly in Edneyville, according to county Extension Director Terry Kelley, which caused some localized flooding. The wet conditions make it difficult for growers to get into the fields, she said. Growers are being delayed as plant development slows on operations that are already about three weeks behind from having to plant late because of earlier wet weather. …
  • “Beautiful Carolina Peanuts,” Southern Farm Network: (Audio) Peanut growers in the Carolinas are sitting on a beautiful crop, and Bob Sutter, Executive Director of the North Carolina Peanut Growers says producers are excited at the prospects.
  • “Wake farmer relies on seasonal workers to help run his vast operation,” The News & Observer: (Video) Wake County farmer Jackie Thompson has relied the H2-A Temporary Agricultural Workers program for more than 25 years to help harvest crops and run his operation that produces tobacco, wheat, cucumbers and soybeans.
  • Helping Farmers Care for Their Number One Asset: Themselves,” North Carolina Health News: Farmers are some of the biggest gamblers. Their livelihood hinges on something as fickle as the weather or crop prices. And not only do they take chances with their crops, they tend to take extreme risks with their health. woman stands at the front of a room of people sitting at desks. She’s motioning to diagrams on the wall at the front of the room There is no such thing as an 8 to 5 job for farmers. So don’t even think about vacation time and sick days. It’s a high-stress job that demands a lot from an individual. In the agricultural industry, there is an increased risk for ailments such as heat exhaustion, skin cancer, injury and respiratory disease. So, the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, headquartered at East Carolina University, is reminding farmers that they are their number one asset. “We need to change the perception to make sure you are taking care of yourself, because if not, there may not be a farm,” AgroSafe nurse Jessica Wilburn told a group of farmers during a farm safety class last week. There about 48,000 farmers in North Carolina and staff with the various Agromedicine programs reached about 9,000 last year. Because North Carolina farmers, fishermen and loggers tend to be more concerned about their commodities than their own health and safety, the institute’s staff provide safety classes. AgroSafe nurses travel to farm meetings, conferences or to individual farms to conduct free on-site health screenings. …
  • “Want milk delivered to your door? These companies are vying for your business,” The News & Observer: It’s been more than a few decades since the Pine State Creamery milkman dropped the day’s supply of dairy at Raleigh homes. But there are still companies battling to deliver fresh milk and cheese to your doorstep. The latest entrant in the competition: Illinois-based Oberweis Dairy. Oberweis arrived in Morrisville to home deliver milk and other products to Triangle residents in mid-May, muscling into a market that includes Jackson Dairy Farm of Sampson County and Maple View Farm of Hillsborough. Kevin Heilbronner of Wake Forest got a flyer in the mail from Oberweis offering new customers a free cooler and reduced delivery fee and decided to give it a try. “I pay about 10 percent more than at the store, and I’m completely fine with that because it’s delivered,” Heilbronner said. “The only thing I have to do is put the cooler on the porch. … If I need to fill in, I just go to the store.” Heilbronner’s typical order is a half-gallon of whole milk (which costs $3.99), two containers of yogurt and chocolate milk or cheese for an average of $20 per week. He was surprised to learn that Oberweis doesn’t just deliver milk — it offers ice cream, eggs, orange juice and more. …
  • “Cheers, N.C.: Governor signs bill easing rules on distilleries into law,” Carolina Journal: Cheers, North Carolina. North Carolina distillers and restaurateurs on Friday evening were toasting Senate Bill 155, which Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law. Distillers are relieved as much as they are happy. It’s a boon for North Carolina tourism and agriculture. “I am truly elated to hear Governor Cooper has signed S.B. 155 into law,” says George Smith of Copper Barrel Distillery in North Wilkesboro. “My sincerest thanks to my fellow Distillers Association members who helped make this happen.” Said Leanne Powell of Southern Grace Distilleries in Mount Pleasant: “We want to thank Governor Cooper for signing this bill and the members of both parties who worked to craft this common sense legislation that will help small businesses like Southern Grace Distilleries expand and continue to manufacture quality made-in-the-U.S.A. products right here in NC.” The N.C. Distillers Association has lobbied for years to ease the Prohibition-era rules on distilleries. In 2015, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a measure allowing distilleries to sell each customer one bottle every 365 days. Now, distillers can sell five bottles. The law allows restaurants to begin selling alcohol Sunday at 10 a.m., as opposed to noon. The early sales are contingent on local approval. North Carolina is one of a handful of states that restricts liquor sales on Sunday mornings. It allows for the sale of antique or rare spirits in special auction, after auctioneers obtain a $750 permit. …
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