Today’s Topic: Taking stock of the year in agriculture

by | Dec 23, 2014


Southern Farm Network logoAgriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Christmas is almost here, and it’s a time of year to reflect on many things, including the past year in agriculture. Overall, 2014 has been a pretty good year for North Carolina agriculture, Commissioner Troxler says.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Early in the year, Congress finally passed a new farm bill. Even though it wasn’t perfect, the bill gave N.C. farmers a clear picture of federal agricultural policy for the next five years.
  • In the spring, the latest analysis from N.C. State University economist Mike Walden showed that the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness continues to grow. Now, its economic impact stands at $78 billion.
  • This year also saw several new agribusiness ventures in the state, including two new sweet-potato dehydration plants that will expand the uses for N.C. sweet potatoes. Opportunities in value-added processing are expected to add more jobs and represent a new market for growers. These investments underscore Troxler’s optimism about agriculture’s future.

Still, it wasn’t a perfect year. The weather threw some wrenches into farmers’ plans along the way. A cool spring caused a late start to the season for many growers, and Hurricane Arthur damaged some eastern corn crops in July. Despite these weather effects, average yields for several of North Carolina’s major field crops have turned out extremely well. And in some cases, records were set or tied.

We have a lot to be proud of in North Carolina when it comes to agriculture, and we can look ahead with optimism toward 2015.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the year in agriculture.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for Dec. 23]

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