News Roundup: June 1-7

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.

  • Andrea prompts flood, tornado alerts,” WRAL: Tornado watches and flash flood warnings have been issued for parts of North Carolina as Tropical Storm Andrea approaches, soaking the state with rain. A flash flood warning has been issued for Franklin, Johnston, Nash, Wake and Warren counties until 10 a.m. Friday, and other surrounding counties are under a flash flood watch until 6 p.m.  …
  • Heavy rain could ruin remaining strawberry crops,” Salisbury Post: Strawberry farmers could lose thousands of dollars in the last weeks of harvest if heavy rains come as forecast, some local growers say. Torrential downpours are expected to continue through the weekend as Tropical Storm Andrea heads north. …
    • Sturgeon and caviar farming in Western N.C.,” Independent Weekly: It’s noon at Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant in Blowing Rock, where two chefs and their teams sit anxiously at the table waiting to discover today’s mystery ingredient.  …
    • Strawberry breeding program receives national sustainability initiative grants,” FreshPlaza.com: Dr. Jeremy Pattison, strawberry breeder and geneticist with the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus, recently was awarded a $158,391 grant from the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, and is a co-investigator on a second grant in the amount of $127,168, led by Dr. Brian Whipker, also with N.C. State.  …
    • Editorial: Getting busy at ag center,” Lumberton Robesonian: “If you build it, they will come.” We took a bit of liberty with the famous quote that we plucked from the movie “Field of Dreams.” In actually, the voice that Kevin Costner’s character, a novice farmer, hears in a field says “he” will come, not “they,” but the point is the same — and it’s flawed.  …
    • NC Council of State approves wood-pellet facility for Wilmington port,” News & Observer: A proposed lease approved Tuesday will allow construction of a $35 million wood-pellet storage and shipping facility at the state port in Wilmington. Maryland-based Enviva Holdings is expected to build and operate the biomass fuel export facility to ship as much as 1 million metric tons of pellets a year from forests in southeastern North Carolina, starting in January 2015.  …
    • Asheville area tailgates overflowing with local honey,” Asheville Citizen Times: The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project in June celebrates honey as its monthly Get Local product. The most bee-beneficial trees and bushes — blackberries, tulip poplars and the like — bloom in early May. That means beekeepers are now heading to local tailgates, restaurants and groceries with the first of the year’s honey. …
    • Mountain valley environment a blessing for North Carolina grower,” Southeast Farm Press: Consistently growing 70 bushels of soybeans per acre and 200 bushel corn isn’t unique in the Southeast, but doing it in a high mountain valley on the western tip of North Carolina is quite a fete. Andrews, N.C., farmer Ed Wood humbly says the dozens of state and national yield awards hanging in his farm office are much more a result of rich mountain river valley soils and plentiful moisture in most years, than to his skills as a farmer. …
    • Will petting zoos return to fair?Shelby Star: The Cleveland County Fair may not include a petting zoo when it returns this fall, fairgrounds officials said Monday. But a team that spent six months studying health safety at the fair does not recommend petting zoos be banned from the fairgrounds following a 2012 E. coli outbreak that sickened 100-plus event patrons and led to a toddler’s death. …
    • Backstory: Vintage Bee spins creamy honey into a national brand,” News & Observer: On paper, Vintage Bee, a wholesale honey company, is less than a year old. So when some of the company’s five national retailers started doubling and tripling their orders earlier this year, seeking a traditional bridge bank loan wasn’t a viable option, representatives of the company said. …
    • Home-schooler lands full ride to NCSU,” Davidson Dispatch: Both of Alex Loflin’s parents graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in agriculture education, and both taught in public schools for years, so her plans to major in natural resources at NCSU came, well, naturally. But winning a full-ride Park Scholarship to attend for four years was the icing on the cake.  …
    • More than 1,000 Venus’ flytraps stolen,” Wilmington Star News: By late May, white flowers from blooming Venus’ flytraps should have covered the boggy bottom of Wilmington’s Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden. “It literally should be just white everywhere,” said Jerry Bell, a city horticulturist. But it wasn’t.   …
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