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.
- “New USDA rule would speed poultry-processing lines, worrying inspectors,” Charlotte Observer: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is poised to finalize major changes to the poultry slaughter-inspection process that critics warn could threaten food safety and harm workers. The proposed rule would allow companies to speed up production lines from 35 birds per minute per inspector to 175 per minute, a five-fold increase.
- “Biden time,” Avery Journal: Avery County farmers Paul Smith and Mark Smith provided Christmas trees for the United States vice president’s residence, United States Naval Observatory, this Christmas after taking second place in the National Christmas Tree Association’s annual competition.
- “New food facility at port to be discussed,” Greater Wilmington Business Journal: A long-discussed port project might soon be moving forward. Chuck Schoninger, president and CEO of USA InvestCo, said the N.C. Ports Authority’s board of directors could take up a lease agreement at its January meeting that could bring a facility to the Port of Wilmington and create new jobs.
- “Organic grain production becoming commonplace in North Carolina,” Southeast Farm Press: Seven or eight years ago there was no organic grain production in North Carolina. Today organic corn, soybeans, and most recently wheat are becoming commonplace in the state, according to North Carolina State University organic crops specialist Chris Reberg-Horton.
- “Crop insurance juicy target in ‘fiscal cliff’ deal,” Charlotte Observer: Rural lawmakers worry that $9 billion in annual federal crop insurance subsidies are an easy target for spending cuts in a “fiscal cliff” deal so they’re shopping around for a late compromise on a farm bill to protect them.
- “Farmers worry about dairy prices as deadline nears,” Charlotte Observer: As the nation inches toward the economic “fiscal cliff,” anxiety is growing in farm country about an obscure tangent of the Washington political standoff that reaches into the dairy industry and, indirectly, into the household budgets of consumers who buy milk and cheese.
- “Troxler encourages N.C. farmers to take part in 2012 Census of Agriculture,” Richmond County Daily Journal: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging North Carolina farmers to “speak up” for their livelihood by taking part in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and the people who operate them.