News Roundup

News Roundup: Sept. 2 – 8

By on September 8, 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.

  • “WORST FEARS COMING OUR WAY — IRMA,” Southern Farm Network: The Carolinas have grown one of the best corn crops in memory this year, and it’s looking like one our worst fears will be realized; a major tropical storm coming through the state before harvest is complete. NC State Extension Corn Specialist, Dr. Ron Heiniger: “Here, you get a good crop, really, really a ‘once in a blue moon’ crop, and then you get a storm like this, so yeah, it’s disheartening.” I’d imagine that producers are running combines as hard as they can go, but in some places it’s really wet. “Yep, in some places, three, four inches of rain, so indeed, that made it difficult to push ahead like they wanted to. Everybody’s sitting o knife’s edge waiting to see what they can get done here, but we’re going to see combines moving as soon as we see some sun really drying out things, and there will be some combines running in wet conditions, but that’s what you’ve got to do in North Carolina in a situation like this.  “I think, we’re talking Tuesday, that give us four, maybe four and a half days here to get a lot accomplished. I see the state has removed restrictions on overweight trucks, so they’re not going to be checking the size of that load you can get on that semi, I know growers are appreciating that trying to move this crop.”
    Let’s talk about what corn is out there, and how much you think can make it out by say, mid-day Tuesday. …
  • “Hurricane Irma has East Coast Producers on Alert,” Southern Farm Network: It was bound to happen… a massive hurricane is spinning in the Atlantic, with the US in its sites, but the track is ill defined at the moment. David DeWitt, Clemson University Extension Agent in Horry County says producers in his area are in pretty good shape, and utilizing lessons learned the last two years: “Well, that’s right, we’re watching it pretty closely, we’re still a little far out right now to know exactly where it’s going. But, we have folks that still have corn in the field, which we’ve got a good bit of it out right now, are working hard trying to get as much as they can before something happens. Moving on from corn, looking at defoliating cotton and digging peanuts, they’re holding off right now being cautious until we get a handle on what’s going to happen, maybe before the end of the week before they do the next thing.
    “That’s one thing we seemed to have learned the last three years is that green cotton, and peanuts in the ground seem to hold up better to water than ones that are on top of the ground or defoliated, that’s going to be the rule of thumb this week, see what this storm ends up doing, probably coming our way a little bit the first of next week, or middle of next week is what it’s looking like right now.”
  • “Apple Festival gets chance to shine under clear skies,” Hendersonville Times-News: After a rainy start Friday, the North Carolina Apple Festival kicked into high gear Saturday, as mostly sunny skies drew thousands of visitors to Main Street. By noon, crowds were packing the downtown, leaving festival organizers optimistic that a record attendance of 300,000 is within reach for the four-day festival. “Today has been excellent,” said Lee Henderson-Hill, president of the festival’s board of directors. “We think we’ll reach the 250-300,000 mark.” The 71st annual celebration, which ends with a Main Street parade at 2:30 p.m. Monday, honors Henderson County’s apple industry and its impact on the local economy. State and local economists consider the festival a signature event that contributes significantly to domestic tourism in Henderson County. According to a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association, visitors spent $275 million locally — a nearly 6.5 percent increase from the previous year. Though the number of non-apple-related vendors has grown considerably, local growers and orchard owners continue to anchor every corner along Main Street, selling everything from apple cider and apple turnovers to apple pie and apple ice cream. …
  • “$3.1 million available to train next generation of leaders in food, ag sciences,” Southeast Farm Press: USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3.1 million in available funding to train the next generation of policymakers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. There is a significant shortfall between the number of jobs being created and availability of graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or environmental specialties.
  • “Farm worker group plans vote on whether to boycott Reynolds’ Vuse e-cig,” Winston-Salem Journal: A farmworker labor group often at odds with Reynolds American Inc. will vote Saturday on whether to begin a national boycott of the company’s Vuse, the top-selling electronic cigarette. As of August, Vuse’s top market share was 29.8 percent, sold at more than 111,000 U.S. retail outlets. Catherine Crowe, a spokeswoman for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, of FLOC, said the potential boycott of Vuse is designed to dent Reynolds’ revenue stream since “it is a fairly new product and market for Reynolds.” “Reynolds has still not signed an agreement with FLOC that would affect real change on the ground by guaranteeing farmworkers freedom of association and implementing a grievance mechanism that farmworkers could use to resolve issues without fear of retaliation,” Crowe said.
    According to the N.C. Growers Association, FLOC represents about 2,000 farmworkers in the state. …
  • “Mom on the Go: It’s apple-picking time!” Fayetteville Observer: Wow, it has been a whirlwind last few weeks with the start of school, the Twice as Nice consignment sale and the beginning of “sick” season. If you are a parent of small children in school, you know what I am talking about here. There are more germs being brought home in the first month or so of school than your children have probably been exposed to all summer long. There is no substitute for warm water and soap, although hand sanitizer will do in a pinch, so make sure to keep their hands washed after every activity and before eating meals and snacks. Fall colds can be brutal spreading from children to parents to siblings to the class so use all preventive measures that you can and best of luck! The good news is once they get to the upper grades, the fall crud chances dissipate a little. I’ll be rooting for you! …
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