News Roundup: Aug. 3-9

by | Aug 9, 2013

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.

  • NC veterinarians say equine disease can be avoided,” Winston-Salem Journal:  North Carolina’s top veterinarian is urging equine owners to talk to his local colleagues about an effective vaccination to protect horses from Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis. State Veterinarian David Marshall says the EEE and the West Nile vaccinations typically require two initial doses for horses, mules and donkeys that have no prior vaccination history. Marshall recommends a booster shot every six months.
  • Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund announces 2013 grant recipients,” Cape Fear Business News:  The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded more than $1.9 million to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today. “The trust fund was able to grant 22 projects funding this year, including 11 projects that were funded from the state’s legal settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Troxler said. “The conservation easements, agricultural projects and plans will help to solidify agriculture and agribusiness as North Carolina’s top industry.”
  • It’s just been hard,” Durham Herald-Sun:  Carrots too small to sell. Cauliflower that never matured. Broccoli that wasn’t sellable. Those were some of the impacts of this year’s heavy rainfall that Jillian Mickens said she and her husband saw on Open Door Farm, the farm they operate on half an acre in Orange County. The fields were too wet to use the tractor, delaying when they could plant their spring crops, Mickens said. That didn’t leave enough time for the crops to mature before the heat and pests settled in, she said. “We had less to sell and that really stinks because we had all this money that we had anticipated having from all of our spring crops and had none of it,” Mickens said.
  • Fertilizer losses still concern North Carolina cotton growers,” Southeast Farm Press: Many North Carolina cotton growers are concerned about fertilizer losses due to the heavy rains. There are no easy answers, because it is difficult to make an across the board recommendation for one farmer, much less the entire state.
  • Farmers Market ground is broken, project under way,” Henderson Daily Dispatch: Roberto Rodriguez works to fill in dirt around freshly laid pipes as concrete footings are prepared to be laid at the construction site for the new farmers market facility. Developers are moving forward on the construction of a new facility for the Vance County Farmers Market, a project worth more than $800,000. Agriculture Extension Agent Paul McKenzie said the county has raised $550,000 for construction. Earth is currently being moved at the location just off Beckford Drive, and the structure could begin going up as early as late August. Vance County received a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and $100,000 from N.C. Agriculture Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.
  • Where has all the HONEY GONE?,”Asheville Citizen-Times: Every year folks come from many surrounding states to attend the annual Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain and purchase local honey. Many are going to be disappointed this year. The 36th annual Sourwood Festival will not have local sourwood honey this year. “This is the worst year not only for sourwood honey, but for any kind of honey,” well-known beekeeping authority Edd Buchanan said. “I can’t remember another year in decades that has been this bad.”
  • NC Department Of Ag’s Ninth Annual Food Safety Forum Scheduled For Aug. 27,” Perishable News:  Registration is open for the ninth annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum, scheduled for Aug. 27 at the State Fairgrounds. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will host the event from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Expo Center. It is open to farmers, food businesses, regulators, health professionals and others with an interest in food safety. Admission is free and includes lunch. …
  • Tobacco auctions making comeback,” Southeast Farm Press: Auction sales seem to have regained a place in tobacco marketing after nearly disappearing just a few years ago. Rick Smith, a leaf dealer in Wilson, N.C., said at the U.S. Tobacco Forum in Raleigh, N.C., that auctions will take only a small percentage of the flue-cured and burley sold this year. But nevertheless they have proven their merit,” said Smith, who is president of Independent Leaf Tobacco Company. “The long-term success of the auction houses will depend, like everything else in agriculture, on the operator’s ability to make a profit.
  • Beer Guy: Sierra to test brew soon,” Asheville Citizen-Times: For a brewery that will employ more than 100 full-time workers and has received a lot of press, the Sierra Nevada project in Henderson County is still something of a mystery. Only construction workers, employees and a few select guests have been on the brewery site, next to Asheville Regional Airport…Production brewing should be going by year’s end. It will be another year before Sierra’s restaurant and tasting room will open, Grossman said. This brewery will be huge, dwarfing all other beer-making plants in Western North Carolina. Sierra will start by making 350,000 barrels a year year, and eventually that will grow to 750,000 barrels. …