News Roundup: Feb. 17-23

By on February 23, 2018

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.

  • “A TEN-YEAR LOOK AHEAD FOR AG PRICES, INCOME, AND EXPORTS,” Southern Farm Network: (Audio) What’s in store for U.S. farmers over the next decade? Agriculture Department analysts have released their answers to that question. Gary Crawford has more for the SFN…
  • “ASAP kicks off 2018 growing season with Eighth CSA Fair March 15 at New Belgium,” Mountain Xpress: The traditional growing season is getting closer and Western North Carolina farmers will soon begin picking asparagus, greens, and radishes to sell at farmers tailgate markets and to pack boxes for their CSA—or Community Supported Agriculture—farm share subscribers. To help the community learn more about CSAs, ASAP is hosting their Eighth CSA Fair on Thursday, March 15, from 3-6 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing Co. (21 Craven Street, Asheville, NC). The annual family-friendly event is free and provides an opportunity to meet area farmers, browse farmers’ CSA programs and products, and sign up. Family farms offering traditional CSAs is a chance for community members to support a farm at the beginning of the season and receive a box of fresh produce, meats, or flowers from their farm on a regular basis through the growing season. Many farms feature half and full size shares to accommodate different size households, and offer convenient add-on options such as farm fresh eggs. Many farms also offer opportunities for CSA members to connect in person with the farm, either through on-farm CSA pick-up, farm tours, member work days, or end of season celebrations. …
  • “Asheboro company teams up with SMSi in Winston-Salem to market new hemp products,” Winston-Salem Journal: Bob Crumley is known in North Carolina as an injury lawyer, but these days he is semi-retired from Crumley Roberts law firm and is the founder of a company that produces and sources hemp products. Founder’s Hemp, based in Asheboro, started out making dietary supplement capsules and tinctures, but recently introduced a line of health and beauty products called Hemp Excellence. Segmented Marketing Services, known as SMSi, based in Winston-Salem, is collaborating with Founder’s Hemp on pricing, packaging, marketing and distribution of Hemp Excellence. Aside from beauty products, companies have used hemp over the years to manufacture such items as clothing, fuel, paper and plastics. Crumley, the controlling shareholder of Founder’s Hemp, spoke of the benefits of hemp extract supplements…The N.C. Assembly passed Senate Bill 313 in 2015, which enabled the N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission to develop rules and licensing guidelines to stay within federal laws. The state’s first planting year was 2017. Crumley, who lobbied the North Carolina state legislature to pass regulations that would allow farmers in the state to grow hemp again, said that Founder’s Hemp was the first company in North Carolina to process hemp. “We had more permitted farmers the first year than any other state in the country,” he said. …
  • “Celebrate National FFA Week Feb. 17-24,” Southeast Farm Press: FFA Week activities include national officer visits and Give FFA Day. National FFA Week, Feb. 17-24, is a time for FFA members to host activities that raise awareness about the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education. History National FFA Week always runs Saturday to Saturday and encompasses Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday. The National FFA Board of Directors designated the weeklong tradition, which began in 1948, in recognition of Washington’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. A group of young farmers founded FFA in 1928. The organization’s mission is to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. …
  • “2017 A RECORD YEAR FOR PORK EXPORTS,” Southern Farm Network: U.S. pork exports broke new records for 2017. According to Pork Checkoff vice president of international marketing Craig Morris, Mexico is the number one market for U.S. pork…At $1.2 billion, Japan is the top value market for U.S. pork…The National Pork Board partners with the U.S. Meat Export Federation in the area of international marketing. For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to pork.org or call 800-456-PORK.
  • “Sustainable Development and Food Services foster farm-to-table initiative on campus,” Appalachian Today: Farm fresh food without leaving campus? Thanks to a new collaboration at Appalachian State University, locally sourced meat, eggs, produce and herbs are a dining hall or market away. Appalachian’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development has partnered with the university’s Food Services to provide local food from its Teaching and Research Farm in Ashe County to campus dining halls and markets. Deliveries of local meat and eggs began in January and will continue a few times each week as the partnership develops.
    Interim Farm Manager Todd Rudicill was instrumental in advancing the partnership with Food Services Director Pam Cline. Both he and Cline are looking forward to how the developing relationship will benefit students, faculty and staff. Food Services butcher John Baumgardner, left, and Warehouse Manager Kevin Shatley, center, meet Interim Farm Manager Todd Rudicill as he delivers the first batch of sausage in January. “I saw an opportunity to create exposure for the farm and encourage more students and faculty to learn about what we do,” he said. “I like to see progress, and I saw a need we could fill.” Currently, Rudicill plans to provide 400 pounds of sausage per semester, along with hundreds of eggs and a variety of herbs and produce. Food Services anticipates purchasing the produce and meat for use in the dining halls and selling the eggs in campus markets. …
  • “Farmers hope for another good year,” The Wilson Times: Price trends suggest more soybeans, fewer sweet potatoes will be planted. Wilson County farmers have started planting tobacco, a sign that spring is right around the corner. “It’s the time of year when everybody is getting cranked up and ready to go for another year, beginning to seed greenhouses, getting them ready for seeding,” said David Hinnant of R.J. Hinnant and Sons Farms in the Buckhorn community. “It’s just February, but it’s time for us to start.” “In our farming operation, tobacco is still our main crop,” Hinnant said. “We grow a little over 300 acres of tobacco, and tobacco still brings in almost half of our income in our farming operations.” To do that, the farm will plant about 8,000 trays of tobacco seeds. Each tray has 338 cells. The potential is there for between 2.4 and 2.7 million plants to germinate. “We are always optimistic that we are going to have a good year,” Hinnant said. “Once contracts are signed and everybody knows how many acres they are growing, then we kind of settle in to make sure we produce a crop.” Hinnant left Saturday for a one-week trip to Brazil with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We are going down to start off in the Santa Cruz area, which is the tobacco region of Brazil. We kind of need to check out what our competition is and what our competition is doing and what the crop is like down there because they are still in the harvest season in Brazil right now,” he said. “Brazil has always been, especially in the tobacco part of it, way behind as far as mechanization and how they handle the crop versus what it in the U.S., so I’m looking forward to seeing how much it’s changed in the last 25 years.” …
  • “Reynolds revenue boosts BAT to record year for profits, sales,” Winston-Salem Journal: Reynolds revenue boosts BAT to record year for profits, sales
    The full addition of Reynolds American Inc. revenue bolstered the fiscal 2017 profit of parent company British American Tobacco PLC by 7.8 percent to a record $8.22 billion.
    BAT is the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco manufacturer, having completed on July 25, 2017, its $54.5 billion purchase of the 57.8 percent of Reynolds it did not already own.
    Reynolds operates as a wholly owned subsidiary. Legacy Reynolds shareholders own 19 percent of BAT. Before the conclusion of the transaction, BAT recorded Reynolds revenue based on its previous 42.2 percent ownership stake. BAT releases just a mid-year and full-year financial report. Revenue rose 37.6 percent to a record $28.2 billion. The U.S. market represented $5.86 billion of that amount — its third largest market behind Western Europe and Asia-Pacific. BAT said Camel, Newport and Natural American Spirit continued to gain market share, with Camel’s increase coming primarily from the menthol styles. Pall Mall’s market share remained on a downward trend in the discount-cigarette category. …
  • “Farm Leaders Urging Immigration Action,” Southern Farm Network: Immigration reform bills failed in the Senate last week, but farm leaders are pressing for House action that they want to include agricultural workers. The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging lawmakers to get behind a bid by House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte of Virginia to include the Agricultural Guestworker Act in his broader immigration reform bill. Whether a more-conservative House GOP measure has any chance in the Senate is questionable…but AFB President Zippy Duvall says agriculture is at a “crisis point” in securing adequate legal immigrant labor. …
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