News Roundup

newsroundup1Each week we’ll round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from newspapers across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to each paper’s full story.

  • “Fewer fields of plenty,” News and Observer: The November issue of Progressive Farmer magazine reports that world food production must increase dramatically to meet future demands of an increasing population. Improving efficiency and sustainable farming practices can only provide a partial solution. However, eroding our nation’s farmland and natural capital by speculative, antiquated economic growth policies that continue to build new roads lined with treeless, paved business sites and hoping jobs will come while abandoned industrial and commercial sites multiply is unsustainable. Following this economic strategy, North Carolina leads the nation in the loss of productive farmland. …
  • “Farm-Fresh: Program will match farmers with restaurants, customers,” Winston-Salem Journal: Larry Roark hopes that this spring he will spend more time tending to the fruits and vegetables on his small farm than waiting for customers to arrive at area farmers markets. Roark is one of about 20 farmers in Stokes, Rockingham and Caswell counties participating in Piedmont Local Food, a new program that will match farmers with restaurants and other customers who want locally grown food. …
  • “Markets’ appeal now year-round,” Durham Herald-Sun: It was not so long ago that regional farmers’ markets were a seasonal attraction. From early spring until, perhaps, late fall, we could rally to the local growers, bakers and crafts folk who filled the stalls at the markets. But in recent years, not only have the number of markets increased, and the number and variety of vendors, but also the length of the season. Now, many markets, including that godfather of local farmers’ markets, Carrboro, and that surging newcomer, Durham, are open year-round. …
  • “Committee to help North Carolina agriculture grow,” Southern Farm Press: Riddick will help launch an initiative from the Biotechnology Center and partners statewide to grow the state’s agricultural economy to $100 billion during the next 10 years. One of every six dollars generated in North Carolina today comes from agriculture. Rural residents’ contributions of food, fiber, fuel and flowers add not only to the state’s $70 billion ag economy, but preserve a historical way of life as well. Now the state’s fields and forests are about to become even more prominent. …
  • “Bright future for cotton in ENC,” Kinston Free Press: Prices rise from last year, worldwide demand higher than projected supply Cotton prices ticked upward during 2009 after crashing during 2008, but it could take several years before local and national markets are up to their previous strength. That was the assessment John Flanagan, president of Flanagan Trading Corp., told an audience of about 60 local farmers Monday during the 2010 Cotton Production Meeting. The meeting – hosted by the Harvey Fertilizer & Gas Co., the Harvey-Price Cotton Co. and the Monsanto agricultural and chemical firm – has been held annually since 1998 to give growers of cotton and other crops an assessment of the year’s upcoming growing season. “I think the decision to go back to cotton will be a difficult one to make, even though prices are better this year,” Flanagan said. …
  • “Conservancy, family preserve 161 acres in Fairview,” Hendersonville Times-News: Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has partnered with Alma Spicer of Brevard and her family to permanently conserve 161 acres on Garren Creek Road in Fairview. An environmental site assessment found vital habitats for 248 plant species and 52 animal species. Four rare species were documented on the tract, including a pair of sharp-shinned hawks, the first recorded occurrence of nesting sharp-shinned hawks in Buncombe County. The biologist also found three rare plant species listed by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program. The easement will permanently protect several thousand feet of Garren Creek and its tributaries. …
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