News Roundup: Dec. 11-17

by | Dec 17, 2010

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. Click on the links to go straight to the full story.

  • Farmers reflect on a bad year for crops,” New Bern Sun Journal: Scott Whitford said there was a lot of wheat that didn’t get planted last winter at his Pamlico County-based Whitford Farms LLC because of excessive rain, and then this year’s hot and dry weather affected the crop’s growth and maturation. Whitford, who co-owns Whitford Farms in Pamlico, Craven and Beaufort counties with his brother as well as with his partner G. Wyatt Whitford Jr., said he saw reduced wheat yields at the crop’s June harvest. He also saw drastically reduced corn yields this fall because of heat and inadequate rainfall, which also affected his early soybean crop yield. …
  • Sanderson Farms may delay new poultry plant,” News & Observer: The CEO of Sanderson Farms told Bloomberg News today that the company’s plans to build a second chicken-processing plant in North Carolina may be delayed. Joe Sanderson Jr. cited delays in the zoning process in Nash County and objections raised in an adjacent county as the reason for possibly postponing its plans to begin construction in March. “We are going to build the plant,” Sanderson told Bloomberg. “I just don’t know when.” The Nash County Board of Commissioners recently rezoned a site in southern Nash County near the Wilson County line that it hopes the nation’s fourth-largest chicken processor will select, but local opponents have gone to court to try and block it. The $106 million plant is expected to employ up to 1,500 workers. …
  • “Greener” getting to market… and more green for farmers’ pockets,” News & Observer: Broccoli could get “greener” for East Coast consumers if upcoming experiments at an N.C. State University research station in Waynesville are successful. NCSU horticulturist Jeanine Davis is part of a multi-university team that’s starting what could be a decade-long project to develop broccoli varieties that can thrive in growing conditions in the East, recruit farmers, and organize networks for growers and distributors. …
  • Farmers across the South contend with drought,” News & Observer: Farmer Aries Haygood grabbed the top of a freshly planted onion and gave it a gentle pull The green plant sprang from the ground with little resistance, a sign its roots weren’t grabbing hold because the powdery soil is too dry. “Right now, we should start seeing that the roots are catching, and they’re not,” said Haygood, who was supervising planting of Vidalia onions on his fields. “The main reason is because we have not had the rain on them.” Farmers across the South are contending with abnormally dry weather and a drought that began this spring. Crops in dry fields then baked during stretches of record-setting summer heat that scorched peanut fields, stressed cotton plants and stunted citrus fruit.  …
  • Pop-n-Son marks first Christmas without ‘Pop’,” Garner Citizen: Bill Stanton Jr., the man behind Pop-n-Son Christmas Tree Farm, says the first year without “Pop” has been a tough one, but every time he watches a family pick out the perfect tree, it’s all worth it. After William Stanton Sr., known as “Pop” to many, passed away this past May, Bill lost not only his father but his business partner of almost 40 years. “We worked together for so long,” Stanton said. “It is hard not having him to bounce ideas off of anymore. … I miss him.” The Stantons’ first exposure to Christmas trees was when they worked Greensboro Christmas tree lots for a friend in the 1960s; it was in those lots and among those trees that they started forming an idea that would define the rest of their lives.  …