News Roundup: Aug. 4-10

By on August 10, 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.

  • “Best farmers’ markets in America,”  MSN: The State Farmers Market in Raleigh and the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax rank in the Top 50 Farmers Markets in the U.S.
  • “Farm Bureau’s Duvall Addresses National Roundtable on Lawsuit Abuse Targeting North Carolina Farms,” American Farm Bureau News: American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall today joined a special national agriculture roundtable highlighting a recent wave of nuisance lawsuits targeting North Carolina hog farms. The event, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, brought together legislators and agriculture leaders to discuss the growing threat to farmers and exposed how out-of-state trial lawyers are using nuisance lawsuits to circumvent state right-to-farm laws. The discussion centered on the economic impact of nuisance lawsuits on America’s farmers and rural communities. …
  • “Court orders ban on harmful pesticide, says EPA violated law,” WRAL: WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that even tiny levels of exposure can harm babies’ brains. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to remove chlorpyrifos from sale in the United States within 60 days. …
  • “FDA TO CONSIDER ORGANIC LABELING CLAIMS,” Southern Farm Network: The Food and Drug Administration will apparently investigate labeling claims of organic products. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb took to Twitter this week, responding to a critical Wall Street Journal editorial in which a former FDA official argued that the agency has been lax in allowing the use of non-GMO and pesticide-free claims in the food industry. …
  • “Will consumers eat meat cultivated in lab?” Southeast Farm Press: Despite a long love affair with red meat, more Americans than ever are turning toward plant-based imitators at restaurants and grocery stores. Not the hockey puck veggie burgers in the back of your freezer, mind you—these are plant-based patties engineered to mimic the taste of real meat.  But making vegetation seem like flesh has always been tough. To create something that satisfies carnivores, Silicon Valley decided you have to use the components of real meat—and that means heading to the laboratory. Whether consumers will readily devour burgers made out of cells cultivated in a bioreactor, though, is an open question. …
  • “Craven, area counties see increase in Eastern Equine Encephalitis,” New Bern Sun Journal: A recent jump in the number of Eastern Equine Encephalitis cases has state health officials urging horse owners to take precautions against the virus. Six cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been confirmed in North Carolina this year, according to a release from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In the last month alone there have been confirmed cases in Richmond, Onslow, Duplin, Craven and Carteret counties. …
  • “North Carolina dicamba complaints hold steady,” Southeast Farm Press: “You need to be on the lookout when making auxin applications around tobacco and vegetables. You can’t afford to buy many specialty crop acres.”
    In his first Blackland Farm Managers Tour as North Carolina State Extension weed specialist, Dr. Charlie Cahoon addressed off-target injury from dicamba and 2, 4-D. As the Aug. 1 field day was held, Cahoon said there have been eight official off-target dicamba drift complaints filed with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, including three to soybeans, two to grapes, one to tomatoes and two on tobacco. …
  • “Ag and state reps say nuisance lawyers trying to put farmers out of business,” Legal Newsline: Representatives of agriculture in North Carolina accuse lawyers and their plaintiffs of attempting to put farmers out of business in the wake of a lawsuit targeting a hog ranch. “I would liken this ongoing litigation of hog production to a blight that could cripple farm production in this state and others across the country,” Steve Troxler, North Carolina agricultural commissioner, told Legal Newsline. “One big problem is the use of the term ‘nuisance.’ I’d say just about anything could be a nuisance to someone at any point in time.” …
  • “HOWARD BROWN NAMED 2018 NORTH CAROLINA FARMER OF THE YEAR,” Sunbelt Ag Expo: If you have ever enjoyed eating rainbow trout in upscale restaurants in the eastern U.S., you might thank Howard Brown of Andrews, N.C. He and his business, C.R. Brown Enterprises, have played a large part in developing the trout farming industry in western North Carolina. A farmer for 30 years, his farm produces up to 70,000 pounds of per acre. This fish is sold under the Carolina Mountain Trout brand name. As a result of his success as a trout farmer, Brown has been selected as state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. He joins nine other individuals as finalists for the overall award that will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Sunbelt Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga. Brown is the first trout farmer to be named as a state winner of the Farmer of the Year award. …
  • “Resolution aimed at protecting Brunswick Co. farmers from ‘nuisance lawsuits’ approved,” WECT: Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday to support the county’s farmers. Similar to what the Pender County board did late last month, Brunswick commissioners approved a resolution in support of the North Carolina Farm Act of 2018.  The resolution aims to, among other things, protect farmers from “frivolous nuisance lawsuits (that) are threatening the very existence of farming in North Carolina.”In Pender County, commissioners voiced their support for hog farmers who are subject to ongoing so-called nuisance lawsuits over the odor and noise coming from hog farms. On Friday, a federal jury ordered Smithfield Foods to pay $473.5 million to 16 neighbors of three industrial-scale hog farms.  …
  • “ALMOND MILK RECALLED FOR CONTAINING…MILK?” Southern Farm Network: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the recall of a popular almond milk brand across 28 states for potentially containing actual, undeclared milk inside of it. More than 145,000 half-gallon cartons of potentially affected refrigerated Vanilla Almond Breeze were shipped to Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. …
  • “Local farmers unimpressed with aid plan,” Asheboro Courier-Tribune: Local farmers aren’t buying the Trump administration farm bailout. Interviews with some area farmers indicate they think a proposed plan to send out $12 billion in aid to farm via the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) amounts to a political football — not a serious attempt to understand and address the concerns of the agricultural community. Harold Brubaker is the former N.C. House of Representatives Speaker and an Asheboro cattle farmer. Kemp Davis is owner of Davis Poultry in Randleman but also raises cattle and grows grain. Craig Frazier, of Sophia, is a third-generation dairy farmer and a member of the local Soil & Water Conservation District board. None of the farmers are impressed with the proposal. Brubaker and Davis report the plan has little or nothing in it to benefit their operations. Frazier could benefit from the plan but has no plans to do so. “It’s nothing but welfare for farmers,” he said. “If you’re in this business, you shouldn’t need it.” …
  • “Century farm program recognizes the Rawls estate,” Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald: Today, there are about 52,000 farms in North Carolina, but only a little more than 1,800 have the distinct honor of being a N.C. Century Farm. The C.R. Rawls (Rawles) Estate farm in Northampton County has the distinct honor of being a designated N.C. Century Farm, the 24th in Northampton County. The family farm was purchased by Cornelius R. Rawls in 1916. It is located on St John Church Road approximately seven miles west of Jackson. The farm is an estate, owned by several members of the grant family. Alexander Grant, of Emporia, Virginia, is one of those members. The family gathers for reunions to view the land and breathe in its sweet smell, where cotton and peanuts still grow. Every three years 150 to 200 family members return to Halifax and Northampton counties and reunite to honor their ancestors and the home place where it all began. …
  • “Agriculture in Forsyth County remains important, but farmers still struggle,” Winston-Salem Journal: Agriculture in Forsyth County is a mixed portrait of more than 600 farms and scores of community gardens, with some farmers struggling to make a profit, two farmers and a county official say. The trade war between the United States and China might affect soybean producers in the county as well. The statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture paint one picture. There are 662 farms covering 261,220 acres, according to USDA statistics. The livestock, dairy and poultry farms in Forsyth County produced cash receipts of $3.54 million in 2016, the statistics show. Farms with crops had cash receipts of $9.35 million that year. …
    Along with $375,363 in government payments, Forsyth County farms had a total of $13.28 million in cash receipts, ranking Forsyth 87nd in that category among North Carolina’s 100 counties.
  • “Uncorked: Seeking expert help can help the N.C. wine industry,” Greensboro News & Record: This summer’s N.C. Wine Summit at UNCG included a panel discussion on “Perceptions of North Carolina Wines.”
    Julia Hunt — the sommelier who put the Quaintance-Weaver restaurant/hotel chain on the wine map and is now with American Premium Beverage — was one a panelist. Quality is rising industry wide, she said, but winery performance remains inconsistent vintage to vintage. She added: “People are still price sensitive.” This is code for N.C. wines are pricey versus the international competition. Judging by squirmy body language and sour faces of grape growers and winemakers there — and one snarky retort — it was an emperor-wears-no-clothes moment. Hunt’s assessment is dead-on. …
  • “Local hemp farm owner ups security after increase in visitors,” WSOC: A North Carolina garden is becoming one of the most popular in the state. Not for the sights, but for the variety of drug that’s growing there. Visitors have flocked to a Hemp Garden in Buncombe County. It is the first place in the state that is growing industrial hemp.  …
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