News Roundup: April 5-11

News Roundup logo 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.

  • “Some NC farmers markets struggle to accept food stamps,” The News & Observer: Consumers can use food stamps to buy produce at grocery stores, but the freshest local fruits and vegetables for sale at farmers markets are often not available to them. Many local markets would love to sell to those shoppers but find they don’t have the manpower or money to be able to accept food stamps. …
  • “US bacon prices rise after virus kills baby pigs,” Charlotte Observer: A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it’s threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more. …
  •  “Asheville area natural products industry on the rise,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Western North Carolina is not just where the wild things grow, but home to a growing number of businesses using technology to turn those native plants into consumer products. Plants harvested from the wild have provided hard-earned cash for mountaineers for decades. Throughout the 20th century, wildcrafters brought their freshly picked and dug ginseng, galax and other herbs from the woods to local buyers. …
  • “NIHS producing top farmers for the future,” Statesville Record and Landmark: If you’re a farmer and thinking about purchasing livestock, it’s probably wise to consult a North Iredell High School student. Or, more specifically, one of eight from the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) club who placed in the top four in the NC FFA State Livestock Judging competition in Raleigh in late March. NIHS’ FFA club sent two teams, competing in the junior and senior divisions, and ended up with both in the top four at the March 25 event held at the Raleigh fairgrounds. …
  •  “Durham schools boost anti-obesity effort,” Durham Herald-Sun: As director of child nutrition for Durham Public Schools, James Keaten is transforming cafeterias into places where fresh fruits and vegetables are replacing junk food. What may be surprising is that students, for the most part, love it.  Even salads offered in middle schools are being snapped up. Keaten knows that if students don’t like the food offered, they won’t eat it. So he tries to make it tasty and interesting. …
  • “A 20-year first: EPA proposing changes to pesticide use,” Carolina Free Press: While pesticides can help farmers raise lusher Christmas trees and juicier tomatoes, they can also be a threat to thousands of farmworkers in Western North Carolina who plant and harvest crops on farmland throughout the mountains. Those risks are the focus of a set of proposed changes to federal rules governing pesticide use on farms. …
  •  “Livestock show teaches life lessons,” Durham Herald-Sun: It is raining and humid at the agricultural facility at Orange High School in Hillsborough. Here, two market steers, a posse of goats and lambs, and a contingent of market hogs are being groomed, having their hair done, and even receiving some fine-detailed ear cleansing. It is the eve of the Central Piedmont Livestock show, held today and Thursday on Orange Grove Road in Hillsborough. For more than six decades, youths from Durham, Person, and surrounding counties have shown animals at the show that are judged, and eventually sold. While the show has endured, some things have changed. “Kids don’t live on farms and have animals like they used to,” said David Latta, one of three agriculture teachers at Orange High. …
  • “Wheat straw shortage frustrates WNC retailers,” Asheville Citizen-Times News: If you’re planning a spring lawn project that requires a bale of straw, you might be waiting a while. Wet weather and a poor wheat harvest last fall are contributing to a shortage of straw across the Southeast, home improvement giant Home Depot said Monday. Lowe’s also pointed to the wet weather and high demand during the spring lawn care season as reasons for the shortage. Workers at Lowe’s and Home Depot told local customers over the weekend and on Monday that it would be a month or two before they had any bales for sale. A decision by a family of farmers to get out of the wheat straw business is contributing, a supplier said. …
  • “Lumberton officials support horse stall expansion,” Fayetteville Observer: Lumberton officials have pledged support for a horse stall expansion project that could have a significant economic effect on the area, officials said Wednesday. Members of the Lumberton City Council Policy Committee approved allocating up to $30,000 to be used for site work at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center, just east of the city. The plan includes adding a barn with 200 horse stalls to the center. …

 

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