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USDA

Bladen County FSA Updates

Bladen County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Chris Tatum announced that farmers and ranchers in North Carolina now can receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone. Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates. Producers can text NCBladen to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Bladen County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe …..

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Farmers say fall harvest is looking good

By Erin Smith Farmers in Bladen County are beginning to gather their fall crops and most say their fields are looking good. They say good weather and a good moisture content in the soil is helping the harvest. Dan Ward of Clarkton said they have completed harvesting their corn crop and it was a good harvest. “We started digging peanuts this week,” said Ward. He said they will continue to dig peanuts for about another month. Ward said based on the fields they have dug so far, the peanut crop looks to be on target for a big harvest. He said based on the  USDA yield estimate for 2017, this …..

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State vet encourages livestock owners to vaccinate against rabies

RALEIGH – State Veterinarian Doug Meckes is encouraging North Carolina livestock owners to consider having their animals vaccinated against rabies. “This year we have seen five cases of rabies in livestock,” Meckes said. “Horses, cattle and goats are naturally curious animals, which puts them at risk for a bite if a rabid animal gets through their fence line.” North Carolina averages about five livestock rabies cases per year. It is transmitted primarily in saliva through a bite. Livestock infected with rabies usually appear depressed, have a lack of appetite; difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing; profuse salivation; blindness; head-pressing; circling; vocalization; fever; strained defecation; increased sexual excitement or activity; limp tail, …..

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Perfect Peanuts program to take place

A program called Perfect Peanuts will take place on Thursday, Sept. 28th, at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension. There is a $10 prize for the best peanut recipe. There is $1 entry fee or $1 per treat. To register, you can call 910-862-4591. Share:

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Herb program planned

A program on growing herbs is planned for Monday, Sept. 25th, at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office. The program, Let’s Do Herbs–Growing, Picking, Drying will take place from 9 .m. until noon.  There is a $5 fee and registration is required by Friday, Sept. 23rd. To register, call 910-862-4591 Share:

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Upcycled and Repurposed event planned

If you have items that are upcycled and repurposed, there will be a display of Upcycled and Repurposed Garden Projects on Saturday, Sept. 23rd, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension. The program is free but pre-registration is required. The public is invited to bring their upcylced and repurposed projects to show and explain how they were made. The public is also invited to come out and learn and gain ideas for your next project. To register, call 910-862-4591.   Share:

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NCDA&CS activates hotline to help farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has activated its hotline to connect farmers with resources that can assist with agricultural emergencies. The toll-free number is 1-866-645-9403. The hotline operates 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “There is still uncertainty about how Hurricane Irma will affect our state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We anticipate impacts to farms could include power outages, damage to crops and agricultural buildings, and animal health emergencies. We are prepared to work with our state and local partners to help our agricultural community if the need arises.” Farmers can also find recovery resources on the department’s disaster Web pages, www.ncagr.gov/disaster. Share:

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Statement from Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler on waiving of motor vehicle regulations to help farmers

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler released the following statement regarding Gov. Roy Cooper’s issuance of Executive Orders 20 and 21 in preparation for Hurricane Irma: “Hurricane Irma is a formidable storm that could result in severe economic loss of livestock, poultry and crops in our state. At my recommendation and as allowed by state law, the Governor has directed the Department of Public Safety to temporarily suspend weighing vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry, feed and crops in the state. “This Executive Order will allow our farmers the opportunity to harvest as much of their crops as possible before the storm hits. The order also will help ensure that …..

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USDA Announces No Actions under Feedstock Flexibility Program

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced today that it does not expect to purchase sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program for fiscal year (FY) 2018.  The CCC is required by law to announce quarterly estimates of sugar to be purchased for the Feedstock Flexibility Program based on crop and consumption forecasts. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from USDA with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugar beet harvest begins.  Upon loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the collateral (sugar) to USDA to satisfy the loan. The …..

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Dairy Producers Can Enroll for 2018 Coverage Secretary Allows Producers to Opt Out

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that starting Sept. 1, 2017, dairy producers can enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy).  Secretary Sonny Perdue has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018. “Secretary Perdue is using his authority to allow producers to withdraw from the MPP Dairy Program and not pay the annual administrative fee for 2018,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Rob Johansson. “The decision is in response to requests by the dairy industry and a number of …..

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Harvest time in Bladen County

By Charlotte Smith It’s harvest time for some Bladen County farmers. The frost and heat has had an impact on some of our county’s farmers this year. It may still be too early to tell how successful the corn, soy bean and peanut crops are this season. We did find some farmers out in their fields on Wednesday, August 30th, harvesting their corn crop. Share:

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Troxler announces availability of bioenergy research grants

Application deadline is Sept. 29 RALEIGH – The N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative is seeking grant proposals focused on research and development of agricultural and forestry-based feedstocks for bioenergy production, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced. The N.C. General Assembly approved $1 million in funding for the 2017-2018 budget cycle. Nearly $242,275 has been committed to multi-year projects that were started with the 2016-2017 grant cycle, leaving over $757,725 for new and existing projects. These grants are designed to focus on projects that boost energy production from North Carolina agricultural and forestry products, offer new opportunities for agribusiness development and support cooperative research for bioenergy production. “Our state’s continued investment in agricultural research …..

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Equine infectious anemia found in mule

RALEIGH –A 14-year-old female mule in Johnston County has contracted equine infectious anemia. The disease was discovered through a routine blood test by the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is the first new case of EIA documented in North Carolina since 2005. “The Johnston County facility is under a quarantine order that restricts movement of equine until further testing is completed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,” said Dr. Michael Neault, director of livestock and animal health programs.  “Because the disease is not curable, the affected mule has been euthanized. The remaining equines at the facility were …..

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Celebrate fall apple harvest

Join the staff of the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office on Thursday, August 31, from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. for a fall apple harvest. There will be an apple treat competition, tasting and judging, facts about apples, and a Do It Yourself apple cinnamon project. The cost to enter is $1 or $1 for each treat entry. The Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office is located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. For more information, contact Nancy Olsen at 910-862-4591. Share:

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Board of Agriculture will meet Aug. 23 in Raleigh

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Agriculture will hold its quarterly meeting Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. in the Martin Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The board will take up the following items: *Begin the process of adopting by reference new federal food-safety rules. *Begin the process to readopt state forestry rules that were deemed necessary following periodic rules review. *Adopt permanent rules for the Animal Shelter Support Fund. The rules define eligible expenses and establish application guidelines. Temporary rules have been in place since last November. *Consider a request from the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division to modify the sampling procedure for bags of fertilizer. *Two new members of the …..

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USDA

Organic Certification Cost Share More Accessible to Farmers

Organic farmers and ranchers can now visit their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to apply for cost share reimbursement through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 75 percent of their certification costs paid from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, not to exceed $750 per certification scope. Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage. Ineligible …..

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Dublin Peanut Festival –Favorite Peanut Recipe Contest

Dig out your favorite peanut recipe and brush up on your cooking skills! Make plans to enter the cooking contest during the Dublin Peanut Festival on September 16. Dishes will be judged in three categories including Candy, Bread and Dessert. Contestants will be divided into two age groups: Youth (Ages 8 – 16) and Adult (Ages 17 – up).  Age is determined by the age you will be on the day of the festival.  Cash prizes will be awarded in each category: 1st – $50, 2nd – $30 and 3rd – $20. All applications must be received by Tuesday, September 12th, at 5 p.m. For an application and a complete …..

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USDA

USDA and SCORE Launch Innovative Mentorship Effort to Support New Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with officials from SCORE, the nation’s largest volunteer network of expert business mentors, to support new and beginning farmers. Today’s agreement provides new help resources for beginning ranchers, veterans, women, socially disadvantaged Americans and others, providing new tools to help them both grow and thrive in agri-business. “Shepherding one generation to the next is our responsibility. We want to help new farmers, veterans, and people transitioning from other industries to agriculture,” said Secretary Perdue. “They need land, equipment, and access to capital, but they also need advice and guidance. That’s what SCORE is all about.” SCORE matches business professionals …..

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Peanuts are popular crop in Bladen County, nation

By: Erin Smith Farmers drive our economy in so many ways, from acting as consumers to growing the food we eat, they are the backbone of our country. If you travel the roads in Bladen County, it is not uncommon to find a tractor, combine, or another piece of agricultural equipment working the fields throughout the county. One crop which is popular with farmers in Bladen County is the peanut. The National Peanut Board says peanuts require less water than other crops and create very little waste. The board also identifies the peanut as the seventh most popular crop in the United States. Dan Ward of Clarkton said, “They (peanuts) …..

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Bladen County Youth Livestock Team Wins at State 4-H Contest

The Bladen County 4-H Youth Livestock team competed at several state contests in Raleigh on July 21st and 22nd.  They brought back numerous awards for both individuals and the teams. Skill-a-thon is a contest where kids take a written test about management of beef cattle, meat goats, sheep and hogs.  They have to identify different breeds of animals, meat cuts, feed ingredients and tools associated with livestock farming.  They also evaluate classes of wool, hay and meats and place the four samples from best to worst and give reasons why they placed them that way. Quizbowl is a team contest where kids ring in and verbally answer livestock production questions. …..

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State sees first EEE case of the year

RALEIGH – A 16-year-old paint horse in Cabarrus County has died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis. EEE is a mosquito-borne disease that is preventable in equine by vaccination. This is the first confirmed case of EEE in North Carolina this year. EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is usually fatal. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear. “If your horses exhibit any symptoms of EEE, contact your veterinarian …..

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Hand Tool Repair Workshop on tap

Learn how to repair, clean and sharpen your hand tools the right way. The Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office will be conducting a Hand Tool Repair Workshop on Saturday, August 19, from 9 a.m. until noon. A very nice tool kit will be provided for participants. The cost is $10 registration and the class will be conducted at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown. Contact Nancy Olsen at 910-862-4591 for more information. Share:

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for August 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for August 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for August is 1.250 percent, up from 1.125 percent in July. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during August is 2.250 percent, up from 2.125 percent in July. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for August are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.500 percent in July; 1.875 percent with five-year loan terms, up from 1.750 percent in July; 2.125 percent with seven-year loan terms, up from 2.000 percent in July; 2.250 percent with …..

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Filing CCC-941 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certifications

Many producers have experienced delays in receiving Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments, Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) and Market Gains on Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) because they have not filed form CCC-941, Adjusted Gross Income Certification. LDPs will not be paid until all eligible producers, including landowners who share in the crop, have filed a valid CCC-941. Producers without a valid CCC-941 certifying their compliance with the average adjusted gross income provisions will not receive payments that have been processed. All farm operator/tenants/owners who have not filed a CCC-941 and have pending payments should IMMEDIATELY file the form with their recording county FSA office. Farm operators …..

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Summer Salsa Social planned at Cooperative Extension Office

The Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office is planning a Summer Salsa Social! The Social is planned for July 27th from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. There will be a Salsa competition, tasting and $25 prize, tomato growth and nutrition facts, and a Do It Yourself Salsa recipe. Cost is $1 entrance fee or $1 for each Salsa entry. The Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office is located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. For more information, please call Nancy Olsen at (910) 862-4591.   Share:

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Deadline Nears for 2017 Farm Safety Net Enrollment

Producers on farms with base acres under the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year by the deadline on Aug. 1, 2017. Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year. If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price …..

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Recordatorio a Productores Agricolas del Estado de North Carolina, Se Aproxima Fecha Limite para Presentar Nominaciones para las Elecciones del Comite’ de Condado de la Farm Service Agency

Lorraine Dillard, Director Ejecutivo Interino de la Agencia de Servicio Agrícola (Farm Service Agency o FSA, por sus siglas en inglés) en North Carolina, recordó hoy que agricultores y ganaderos tienen hasta el 1 de agosto de 2017 para nominar un candidato elegible para las elecciones a los comités de condado de la FSA. Los comités de condado están formados por agricultores y ganaderos elegidos por otros productores en sus comunidades para guiar la entrega de programas agrícolas a nivel local. Los miembros del comité juegan un papel importante en las operaciones diarias de la FSA. Los comités consisten de tres a once miembros y se reúnen una vez al …..

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North Carolina Producers Have Until Aug. 1, to Submit FSA County Committee Nominations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director for North Carolina, Lorraine Dillard today reminded farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1, 2017, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees. County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan …..

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Peach lovers can expect good offering of late-variety fruit

RALEIGH – Peach lovers across the state can expect to find plenty of peaches for homemade ice cream, cobblers or just eating fresh. While a late freeze affected many orchards across the state, growers from the mountains to the coast are reporting a good crop of late-variety freestone peaches. “It all depends on where the orchard is located,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Some orchards were hit harder by the late freeze, while others right down the road remained unaffected. Still, there should be plenty of peaches available throughout the state.” Some early variety clingstones will be available, but they will not be as plentiful as the mid- to late-season …..

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Farm Safety Workshop planned

A farm safety workshop is planned for Thursday, July 20, from 3 until 5:30 p.m. at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. The workshop will cover such topics as what to do when encountering farm equipment and other large vehicles on the roads and the ins and outs of farm safety. There will also be a meal and free gift. For more information contact Nancy Olsen at 910-862-4591. Share:

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NC Peach lovers can expect good offering of late-variety fruit

RALEIGH – Peach lovers across the state can expect to find plenty of peaches for homemade ice cream, cobblers or just eating fresh. While a late freeze affected many orchards across the state, growers from the mountains to the coast are reporting a good crop of late-variety freestone peaches. “It all depends on where the orchard is located,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Some orchards were hit harder by the late freeze, while others right down the road remained unaffected. Still, there should be plenty of peaches available throughout the state.” Some early variety clingstones will be available, but they will not be as plentiful as the mid- to late-season …..

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USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2017-Crop Peanuts

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced 2017-crop loan rates for four types of peanuts. The 2014 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton, which is unchanged from the previous farm bill. CCC calculated the price support levels for each peanut type using the same method as last year. CCC uses the national loan rate and five-year average quality factors, along with a three-year simple average weighted production. The rates take effect Aug. 1, 2017, the beginning of the peanut crop year. For an average grade ton of 2017-crop peanuts, loan levels by type …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2017

USDA Farm Service Agency sent this bulletin at 07/03/2017 09:16 AM EDT You are subscribed to FSA News Releases for USDA Farm Service Agency. This information has recently been updated, and is now available. Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFSA/bulletins/1a737fe USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2017 07/03/2017 10:00 AM EDT WASHINGTON, July 3, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for July 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for July is 1.125 percent, unchanged from 1.125 percent in June. Share:

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Support fellow farmers

The election of responsible agricultural producers to FSA county committees is important to ALL farmers and ranchers with large or small operations. It is crucial that every eligible producer take part in this election because county committees are a direct link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers. PLEASE READ: Uniform Guidelines For Conducting Farm Service Agency …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2017

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for July 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for July is 1.125 percent, unchanged from 1.125 percent in June. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during July is 2.125 percent, unchanged from 2.125 percent in June. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for July are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.500 percent in June; 1.750 percent with five-year loan terms, down from 1.875 percent in June; 2.000 percent with seven-year loan terms, down from 2.125 percent …..

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Keep Independence Day celebrations safe with these fire-safety tips

RALEIGH – Officials with the N.C. Forest Service encourage people to celebrate Independence Day by viewing public fireworks displays rather than risk starting fires with their own fireworks. “The careless use of sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers and other Class C fireworks can cause wildfires,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Each year, wildfires in North Carolina endanger people, destroy millions of dollars’ worth of timber and property, and damage the environment.” If people use their own fireworks, here are some safety tips: *Don’t use fireworks such as ground spinners, firecrackers, round spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, which are illegal in North Carolina. *Do not use fireworks near …..

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N.C. Forest Service Nursery Program accepting seedling orders beginning July 3

RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service Nursery Program will begin accepting orders for seedlings July 3. The NCFS produces about 16 million quality seedlings for 47 species of both conifer and hardwoods annually, including an expanded selection of control mass pollinated loblolly pine seedlings. These seedlings offer superior growth, form and disease resistance. “Trees are one of North Carolina’s greatest renewable resources and an important economic driver in North Carolina, contributing around $24 billion annually to the state’s economy and providing more than 180,000 jobs for North Carolinians through the forest products industry,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. The NCFS nursery program offers a large, reader-friendly catalog for ordering tree seedlings. …..

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Summer Blueberry Bash planned for Thursday

There will be a Summer Blueberry Bash on Thursday, June 29, from 3 until 5:30 p.m. The Blueberry Bash will be held at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown.  There is a $1 entry fee and a cost of $1 for each dish entered in the blueberry treat competition. There will be a blueberry treat competition, tasting and a $25 prize to the winner. There will also be information on blueberry history and growth and nutrition and storage facts. There will also be a Do It Yourself blueberry scrub and a raffle. For more information contact Nancy Olsen at 910-862-4591. Share:

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NCDA&CS offers organic certification cost-share assistance

RALEIGH – Organic growers in North Carolina can apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified or for recertification through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Growers who are certified or recertified between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017, can apply for assistance through the program. “Applicants can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification per category,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and I would encourage growers and handlers to submit their applications early.” Under the grant, operations can be certified and reimbursed in four separate categories: crops, …..

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Keep up with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) news by email and text!

No office? No problem! Receive text message alerts from FSA while on-the-go, in the field, on the tractor or even on horseback. Contact your local FSA office to subscribe to text message alerts. Standard text messaging rates apply. Participants may unsubscribe at any time. Text NCBladen to FSANow (372-669) to subscribe to FSA’s SMS text messaging service. For more in-depth FSA program information, we offer our standard electronic news bulletin by email.  Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe, or contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. Keep up with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) news by email and text! Share:

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Bladen County Blueberry Tour

The Bladen County Extension Office (450 Smith Circle Dr.) will be having a Blueberry tour on June 13, 9:00 -11:00 am. We will be going to Carter Farms to see them dumping lugs of blueberries, finding out how they sort out the juicing berries from the fresh pack berries. We will see them grade and package the blueberries in clamshells, and a little history lesson on the areas blueberry growth. Please call to register (910-862- 4591). We will have a van reserved for transportation. Share:

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Sandra Cain

For Better Living: Organic Produce vs. Conventional Produce

By: Sandra R. Cain Organic farmers focus their efforts on renewable resources and the conservation of water and soil. Most organic foods cost 10 to 40 percent more than conventionally grown food. Some reasons people may feel better about paying the higher cost are thinking the organic options taste better, may be more nutritious, have lower levels of pesticides and herbicides and have a desire to help the environment. On the other hand, some choose not to purchase organic food because it has a higher cost, fewer choices, a blemished appearance and uncertainty if the product is truly organic. What does organic produce mean? Organic refers to the methods and …..

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USDA

USDA Offers Targeted Farm Loan Funding for Underserved Groups and Beginning Farmers

Tualatin, Oregon), June 1, 2017 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Oregon Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director Dan LoFaro reminds producers that FSA offers specially targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers and ranchers. “Each year, a portion of FSA’s loan funds are set aside to lend to targeted underserved and beginning farmers and ranchers,” said LoFaro.  “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations.” During fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016), Oregon FSA obligated $27.8 million in loans to underserved borrowers and …..

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Money

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for June 2017

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for June 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for June is 1.125 percent, up from 1.000 percent in May. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during June is 2.125 percent, up from 2.000 percent in May. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for June are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.500 percent in May; 1.875 percent with five-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.875 percent in May; 2.125 percent with seven-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.125 percent …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for June 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for June 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for June is 1.125 percent, up from 1.000 percent in May. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during June is 2.125 percent, up from 2.000 percent in May. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for June are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.500 percent in May; 1.875 percent with five-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.875 percent in May; 2.125 percent with seven-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.125 percent in May; 2.375 percent with …..

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USDA

USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Thursday, June 15, 2017. “County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.” County committees are made up of farmers and …..

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USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Thursday, June 15, 2017. “County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.” County committees are made up of farmers and …..

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NCDA&CS expects good late-variety blueberry crop Blueberry Days planned for Raleigh and Colfax in June

RALEIGH – Despite a late March freeze that affected early varieties of blueberries grown in North Carolina, marketing specialists with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services anticipate plenty of later varieties available for consumers to enjoy. “This has been an unusual growing season for local blueberry growers, but that’s exactly why they plant so many different varieties,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The quality and quantity of later varieties should be good through July.” North Carolina is the sixth-largest producer of blueberries in the nation, with about 8,000 acres of blueberries grown in the state, said Dexter Hill, NCDA&CS marketing specialist. In 2015, blueberry production was valued at …..

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Farmers should prepare for hurricane season

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s annual plea for farmers to prepare for hurricane season is especially poignant this year, considering many are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew. “Hurricane Matthew is a painfully fresh reminder of just how important it is to have an emergency plan for your farm, food company or agribusiness,” Troxler said. “Take precautions and think through your plan now, and discuss it with your employees and family. Doing this can help no matter what emergency strikes.” Scientists at N.C. State University are predicting 11 to 15 named storms in the Atlantic basin this year, numbers in line with the average since 1950. Of those storms, four …..

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Making Clay Pot People Workshop to be held

On Saturday, May 27, from  10 a.m. until 1 p.m. there will be a workshop on making clay pot people. We will put clay pots together and paint them to look like either a boy or a girl. All materials are provided and you will take your pot person home with you. Cost is $25.  Space is limited and registration fee is due by May 23 in order to purchase materials and to reserve your spot. If you have a small fan please bring it to help dry paint. See you there!! The fun will be at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension at 450 Smith Circle Dr., Elizabethtown. For questions, …..

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Plant Swap Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:30p

In conjunction with Nancy Olsen, Assistant Extension Agent, Agriculture – Home Horticulture/Master Gardeners for the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Agency, the Bladen County Public Library will be hosting a Plant Swap on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:30pm in the Courtyard at the Main Branch of the Bladen County Public Library. Please bring any plants you would like to swap with others. Share:

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Tufa Pot Workshop

Have you ever seen those cool concrete looking pots made of cement, peat moss and vermiculite? Well, now you can make one for your own yard. We will be having a Tufa Pot Workshop on May 16 and 23, from 9 am until noon. On May 16, you will be mixing and creating your very own Tufa Pot. Once the mix is in the mold, your pot will dry for a week, then on May 23 you will come back, take the pot out of the mold and plant your tufa pot. All materials are included in the registration fee ($15) to be paid by May 15 in order to …..

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It’s time for County Committee Elections 2017

The nomination period for local FSA County Committees will begin on June 15, 2017. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Bladen County FSA Office by close of business by Aug. 1, 2017. This year, nominations and elections will be held in LAA 2, which includes Abbots, Bladenboro, Bethel, and Hollow Townships. To be eligible to serve on the FSA County Committee, a person must participate or  cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a County Committee election, and reside in the Local Administrative Area (LAA) where they are nominated. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for …..

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4-Hers Compete in 3rd Annual Regional Chicken Show

White Lake  – On May 2, 2017, the lakeside picnic shelter at the NC FFA Center at White Lake, NC was converted to a show field for the evening.  A show for chickens!  We had almost 60 youth ages 5 to 18 involved in 4-H and FFA from counties across the Southeast region come out to show their hens and broilers that they have been raising and caring for over the last few months. In order to participate, the youth had to register through their school FFA advisor or their 4-H or Livestock Agent through NC Cooperative Extension. Registration for laying hens took place in December; while youth that raised …..

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Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony on April 25 at the Supreme Court building. Perdue grew up on a dairy and diversified row crop farm in Bonaire, Georgia. Being uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator and governor of Georgia, he has experienced the agriculture industry from every possible perspective throughout his life. As secretary, Perdue says he will champion the concerns of farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers, and will work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families. Perdue’s policies as U.S. …..

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Events: Farm Fresh Friday set to offer variety of goods

Farm Fresh Friday is already gearing up once more.  “Farm Fresh Fridays” is a rain or shine event and vendors will be on site today at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The farmers market is located at 106 Martin Luther King Drive, Elizabethtown. Vendors will be at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market offering all manner of baked goods and crafts. Civic groups will also be on hand with information and displays about their activities, as well. “Farm Fresh Fridays” will not cost vendors and will be conducted each Friday through the fall. However, due to limited space, pre-registration is requested. Contact Billie …..

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Defense Department program awards $9.2 million for conservation projects near N.C. military bases

Projects will protect farms, forests, plus training areas for Marines, Air Force RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has secured $9.2 million in federal funding to protect land from development and maintain agricultural, forestry and military uses. The funding will support conservation efforts by the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape Partnership, which includes the NCDA&CS, the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, other federal and state agencies, local governments and nonprofit organizations. “The Sentinel Landscape Partnership will use this grant to protect farms and forests that are vital to relieving encroachment on military training areas and airspace,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Working with willing landowners, this …..

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Southeastern farmers granted approval for industrial hemp seed importation

Elizabethtown, NC – A farming family from Bladen County has been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to import top quality certified industrial hemp seeds from Europe in support of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program early April 2017.   Cesar and Luciano Alvarado, brothers and owners of Palomo Farms LLC, will offer a large variety of industrial hemp seeds only to farmers who have been approved by the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes.   Currently, the United States does not have a large-scale industrial hemp production and relies solely on imported hemp; however, with …..

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Industrial Hemp Commission to host public meeting May 5 at 9 a.m.

The Industrial Hemp Commission will hold a public meeting via telephone conference call to review and approve research pilot program applications and to discuss any progress regarding the Drug Enforcement Administration’s position on hemp seed purchasing on Friday, May 5, at 9 a.m. Access to the conference call can be made at http://go.ncsu.edu/industrialhemp or by calling 1-408-638-0968 (U.S. toll) or 1-646-558-8656 (U.S. toll). The meeting ID is 457-771-465. Participants will be prompted to enter their name and email address to enter the meeting via the website, or prompted for a unique participant ID for the call. They should press # to access the call. The N.C. General Assembly passed Senate …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for May 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for May 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for May is 1.000 percent, unchanged from 1.000 percent in April. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during May is 2.000 percent, unchanged from 2.000 percent in April. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for May are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, down from 1.625 percent in April; 1.875 percent with five-year loan terms, down from 2.000 percent in April; 2.125 percent with seven-year loan terms, down from 2.250 percent in April; …..

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Farm Fresh Friday is today

Farm Fresh Friday is already gearing up. Vendors are at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market already setting up for the day. Vendors will be on site today in Elizabethtown from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Fresh produce and plants will be offered and the Elizabethtown Rotary Club will be offering popcorn and baked goods to raise funds for their scholarships. READ MORE Share:

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Library to host Herb Gardening program

We will be having an Herb Gardening Program at the main library in Elizabethtown on Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m. The program is being done by Nancy Olsen, Assistant Extension Agent, Agriculture – Home Horticulture, Master Gardeners for the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Agency. Nancy was born and raised in Western Kansas on a large cattle and field crops farm and loved riding horses and working in the yard and garden. She attended Kansas State University and received a BS degree in Soil and Water Conservation/Natural Resources, and later went back to KSU where she received a MS in horticulture. Share:

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Tillis Statement On Perdue’s Confirmation As Ag Secretary And The Future Of The Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary and the future of the next Farm Bill: “I congratulate Sonny Perdue for being confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture. When I met with Secretary Perdue earlier this year, I was heartened by his knowledge of agriculture and his passion for this important industry. North Carolina is a significant contributor to America’s agricultural output and I am confident that Secretary Perdue will be a wonderful addition to the President’s cabinet and a perfect fit for USDA. “As Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow continue early discussions on the next …..

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USDA

FSAfarm+, FSA’s Customer Self-Service Portal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has launched a new tool to provide farmers and ranchers with remote access to their personal farm information using their home computers. Farmers and ranchers can now view, print or export their personal farm data all without visiting an FSA county office. The program, known as FSAfarm+, provides you with secure access to view your personal FSA data, such as base and yields, Conservation Reserve Program data, other conservation program acreage, Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation status information, field boundaries, farm imagery, name and address details, contact information and membership interest and shares in the operation. This data …..

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Farm Storage Facility Loans

FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks. The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities, floriculture, hops, maple sap, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge …..

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Enrollment Period for 2017 Safety Net Coverage Continues Through Aug. 1  

Producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can visit their local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017. Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year. If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 …..

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USDA

USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to Bladen County Producers

Bladen County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Chris Tatum announced that farmers and ranchers in North Carolina now can receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone. Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates. Producers can text NCBladen to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Bladen County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any …..

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A Warm Friday afternoon at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market

Warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine have begun to draw folks out to the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown. On Friday, Elizabeth Norris along with Alyssa, Andrew and Brooklyn were at the farmers market enjoying a Sunset Slush. The family is from Bladenboro and were enjoying the warm weather and a tasty treat. In addition to being a great spot to have lunch or grab a tasty treat, the Cape Fear Farmers Market is also set to begin offering Farm Fresh Fridays.  Next Friday, April 28, will kick off the “Farm Fresh Fridays” at the market with the Bladen County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale. The Master Gardeners and others …..

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Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 – America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. “The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who …..

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N.C. strawberry growers expect second wave of crop

Events planned in May in Raleigh, Colfax, Charlotte RALEIGH – It has been about a month since most areas of North Carolina saw their last freeze, and for local strawberry growers and eaters that means the second wave of strawberries is almost here. “This has been an unusual strawberry season in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Thanks to a warm February, many growers were picking at least two weeks ahead of schedule. Then the state had freezing temperatures in March, which put production on hold. It takes 30 days or more for a blossom to turn into a berry. Now that we are past the last freeze, more …..

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Troxler announces three new directors

RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today announced three new appointments at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to replace division directors who are retiring. “I am pleased to have well-qualified and dedicated staff members who will be stepping into new leadership roles at the department,” Troxler said. “I am confident they will do an outstanding job based on their years of experience in their respective fields.” John Howard, Emergency Programs director John Howard of Efland has worked 18 years with the N.C. Forest Service, most recently as a district forester with supervisory responsibilities for 27 employees. He is an incident commander on the N.C. Forest Service Incident …..

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A Sheep and Meat Goat Field Day planned for April 29

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Centers in Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Bladen Counties are having a Sheep and Meat Goat Field Day on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. until noon at Grays Creek High School (5301 Celebration Dr. in Hope Mills, NC  28348). Registration is at 9 a.m. and the field day begins at 9:30 a.m. The field day will be an opportunity to learn more on sheep and goats. The field day will cover basic nutrition, feeding minerals, and an overview of the FAMACHA deworming system. There will also be 3 tracks to choose from during part of the field day. Track 1: FAMACHA certification – producers will learn …..

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USDA

USDA Announces 2017 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the 2017-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton. The differentials, also referred to as loan rate premiums and discounts, have been calculated based on market valuations of various cotton quality factors for the prior three years. This calculation procedure is identical to that used in past years. The Commodity Credit Corporation adjusts cotton loan rates by these differentials so that cotton loan values reflect the differences in market prices for color, staple length, leaf, extraneous matter, micronaire, length uniformity, and strength. The 2017-crop differential schedules are applied to the 2017-crop loan rate of 49.49 …..

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Industrial Hemp Commission to hold public meeting via telephone conference call

The Industrial Hemp Commission will host a public meeting on Monday, April 17, at 2:30 p.m. via telephone conference call to review and approve applications received to grow industrial hemp under a pilot program. No public comments will be taken during the meeting. Access to the conference call can be made at http://go.ncsu.edu/industrialhemp or by calling 1-646-558-8656 (U.S. toll) or 1-408-638-0968 (U.S. toll). The meeting ID is 552-175-681. Participants will be prompted to enter their name and email address to enter the meeting via the website, or prompted for a unique participant ID for the call. They should press # to access the call. The N.C. General Assembly passed Senate …..

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West Bladen High School Logo

West Bladen High School Horticulture Plant Sale

The West Bladen High School Horticulture plant sale will begin on Monday, April 10, and continue through Friday, April 14, at the West Bladen Greenhouse. Hours for the sale are Monday from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Tuesday from 7 a.m.until 10 a.m.; Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and Friday from 8 a.m. until noon. Types of plants include bedding plants, vegetables, hanging baskets and potted plants. Prices are $3 for 6-pack and $15 for a flat of 36 plants. For a complete list of plants available and pricing, click here. For more information, contact Dana Mill at 910-862-2130, ext. 3306. Share:

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WBHS FFA Members attend Bladen County Soil and Water Awards Program

  On Wednesday April 5th, 2017 several WBHS FFA members attended the Bladen County Soil and Water Awards Program.  Representing the FFA  Land Judging team were MacKenzie Morris, Sean Nunnery, and Ashlea Williams.  The FFA Land Judging team was recognizing for being the 1st place Senior team in Bladen County.  Ruby Arellano received the Bladen County Soil and Water Scholarship.  Madison Cain opened the awards ceremony by reciting the FFA Creed. The awards ceremony was planned and sponsored by Bladen County Soil Water Conservation Service. Share:

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North Carolina House set to discuss Right to Farm Bill

The North Carolina House of Representatives is set to discuss HB 467 known as the “Right to Farm Bill” this week. Residents and farmers alike are encouraged to contact their representatives and voice their support for the measure. Out-of-state trial lawyers have been traveling the United States and making millions by suing farmers for alleged nuisances, according to the NC Farm Bureau. The out-of-state attorneys have begun working in North Carolina in recent years and have managed to convince several neighbors they can receive damage payments that exceed the value of their homes and land. The law states that someone can sue a farmer over pollution issues or creating a …..

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USDA

USDA Announces No Actions under Feedstock Flexibility Program

WASHINGTON, DC– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation announced today that it does not expect to purchase and sell sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program in the second quarter of 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation is required by law to announce quarterly estimates of the amount of sugar available for purchase and sale under the Feedstock Flexibility Program based on crop and consumption forecasts. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from USDA with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugar beet harvest begins. Upon loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the collateral (sugar) to …..

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Industrial Hemp Commission to host public meeting Thursday, April 6

Industrial Hemp Commission to host public meeting Thursday, April 6, at 2 p.m. The Industrial Hemp Commission will host a public meeting via conference call to review and approve applications received to grow industrial hemp under a pilot program. No public comments will be taken during the meeting. Access to the conference call can be made at http://go.ncsu.edu/industrialhemp or by calling 1-646-558-8656 (U.S. Toll) or 1-408-638-0968 (U.S. Toll). The webinar ID is 390256250. Participants will be prompted to enter their name and email address to enter the meeting via the website, or prompted for a unique participant ID for the call. They should press # to access the call. The …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Sure could use a little good news today.   As of 7AM today, about 35/100 of an inch was recorded by the National Weather Service at Curtis Brown Airport, Elizabethtown. Hopefully, much more is expected. Find myself riding along, listening to Southern Gospel Music, turn the volume up and pretend I am at an all-night singing in the 50s and 60s. Statesman, Blackwood Bros., Lefevres, Sunshine Boys, Homeland Harmony, Florida Boys, and more. Tomorrow begins a new month, with April Fool’s Day. Checking weather stats for the new month, average high is 74, compared with 67 in March and the low for April is 48, up 8 degrees from March. …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Loan Rates for Wheat, Feed Grains, Oilseeds, Rice and Pulse Crops

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the 2017 marketing assistance loan rates by county for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans and each “other oilseed” (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed and sunflower seed), loan rates by region for pulses (dry peas, lentils, small chickpeas and large chickpeas), and loan rates by state for rough rice. The rates are posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) website at www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/price-support/commodity-loan-rates/index. Marketing assistance loans provide interim financing to producers so that commodities can be stored after harvest when market prices are typically low, to be sold later when …..

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West Bladen FFA Chapter Participates in State Poultry Event

The West Bladen FFA Chapter participated in the North Carolina FFA Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC.  Team members include Noah Bryan, Joseluis Hernandez, Callie Lewis and Sean Nunnery. During this event students evaluated production, processing, and merchandising phases of the poultry industry, as well as, identify various industry components.  They are also tested on the application of sound management practices.  Perdue Farms Inc., with in-kind support from the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University, sponsors the State Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event. Share:

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Planters Day weekend is here

The weekend forecast is looking bright, warm and sunny for the Planters Day weekend. The festivities kicked off at the Graham Farm located on Old Fayetteville Road in the Ammon community. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the event continues Saturday. On Friday vendors were setting up their wares while live entertainment took place on the stage. Classic cars and antique tools and tractor were on display. A museum is now open that allows visitors to view all manner of tools that were used on the farm. Jessie Bullard, the owner of a horseless carriage, said he comes to Planters Day each year. “I just like to see this type …..

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Rouzer Agriculture Subcommittee hosts hearing, “The Next Farm Bill: Livestock Producer Perspectives”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer held a public hearing entitled, “The Next Farm Bill: Livestock Producer Perspectives.”  This hearing continues the series of House Agriculture Committee hearings that set the stage for the next farm bill.  This hearing provided representatives from four of the major livestock producer groups the opportunity to discuss their experiences with current programs, challenges facing the industry and priorities for the upcoming farm bill. “From onerous federal rules and regulations to cattle fever ticks to foot-and-mouth disease, it’s no secret our nation’s livestock producers are facing numerous, serious challenges,” said David Rouzer, Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.  “As …..

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Take soil samples to know plants’ spring fertilization needs

RALEIGH — Spring is the best time to fertilize your shrubs as it promotes optimal growth with healthy foliage and abundant flowers. Well-fertilized shrubs not only improve the aesthetics of the landscape and provide wildlife habitat, but also enhance value and appearance of the property. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agronomic Services Division encourages home gardeners, community gardeners and landscapers to submit soil samples to optimize growing conditions. From April through mid-November, soil testing is free, and samples are typically turned around within two weeks. “Fertilizers provide nutrients to help plants grow, but it is important to apply the correct amount and type of fertilizer to promote …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hopefully, last night will be the last of freezing temps until next winter. Blueberry farmers have been busy attempting to ‘salvage’ this years crop. Low temps were in the upper 20s last night. Spring officially arrives Monday. After a warmer than usual February and a very cold week in March, hopefully we return soon to more normal weather for this time of the year. Average high for the month of March is 67 and normal low is 40 degrees. Remember when farmers (and others) spoke of ‘breaking land’ as they prepared to begin the planting season. Later there was takin’ out tobacco, pickin’ cotton, stackin’ or pullin’ peanuts. A reminder …..

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Backyard/Small Flock Poultry Meeting set for April 6

There will be a Backyard/Small Flock Poultry Meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm.  The meeting will be at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown. Topics will include: chick brooding, feeding chickens for egg production, culling standards for egg layers, and money saving ideas for small flocks.  Feed and Garden Center will sponsor refreshments. Call the Extension office at 910-862-4591 to register by April 3rd.  Persons with disabilities may request accommodations to participate by contacting Becky Spearman, Extension Agent, at 910-862-4591, by email, or in person at the office at least (7) days prior to the event. Share:

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Albert Beatty Farm Featured In Farm Bureau Magazine

The Spring issue of North Carolina Field and Family, a magazine published by the North Carolina Farm Bureau, has a feature story on the Albert Beatty farm in Bladen County. A third generation farmer, Albert Beatty and his wife Ada have spent the last 45 years growing their small farm in Bladen County. AA&S Farms sits on 500 acres of Bladen forestland, about 70 of which is set aside to grow corn and soybeans. To read this story entitled “Small But Mighty” go to NCFieldFamily.org or to ncfb.com. Share:

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Sub-freezing temperatures could impact agricultural interests at end of week

Exhausted farmers in Bladen County are bracing for more freezing temperatures following this weekends snow as sub-freezing temperatures are forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Agricultural interests in Bladen County seemed to fair well with the snow during the weekend, but are bracing for more freezing weather towards the end of the week. A hard freeze, meaning temperatures below 28 degrees, are forecast for Thursday and Friday nights. Farmers will be implementing their frost and freeze protection plans for their crops once more this week. Share:

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World Champion Wakeboarder to attempt to set record at White Lake

One a warm spring or summer day, it is not that unusual to find folks enjoying an afternoon boat ride or even skiing on White Lake. One World Champion Wakeboarder took notice of the activity on the lake and has decided to attempt to set a record at White Lake. World Champion Wakeboarder Shaun Murray visited White Lake Marine several years ago to teach a class on Wakeboarding. While at White Lake, Murray said he noticed there were a large number of Ski Nautique boats on the lake. Murray, who is set to return to White Lake in April, has decided to attempt to set a new record by riding …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The weather will likely be the big story over the next several hours/days. Today, a slight chance of rain before noon, windy this afternoon with gusts up to 25 mph and highs near 75. Saturday, sunny with a high near 54. Saturday night we have a 60% chance of rain and snow with lows near freezing. Sunday, rain and snow, mainly before 1 pm, High temp near 39 degrees with a northerly wind near 10 mph, gusts up to 18 mph, and an 80% chance of precipitation. Snow expectations range from a tenth to a couple of inches, depending on the source. Next week, lows in the mid to upper …..

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Farmers getting ready for spring growing season

  With the weather getting warmer and the days growing longer, folks are beginning to see Bladen’s farmers taking to their tractors and preparing their fields for spring planting.  Bruce McLean Jr., Field Crop and Commercial Horticulture (Fruits and Vegetables), with Bladen County Cooperative Extension said some farmers in our county are in the process of ripping the ground in preparation for spring planting rather than tilling the land. McLean said that ripping differs slightly from tilling in that ripping is usually done to break up water repellant soil layers. He explained that where Bladen County received a lot of rain in the fall, it can cause the different layers of …..

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Bladen County Farmer Attends 2017 NC State Tobacco Short Course

A Bladen County tobacco farmer, Scott Edwards of Bladenboro, participated with 45 other tobacco farmers and industry representatives recently in the 2017 NC State Tobacco Short Course in Raleigh. Edwards farms with his father J.D., at Edwards Farms Inc. Last year the Edwards’ grew 175 acres of flue-cured tobacco along with another 1,500 acres of other crops on their farming operation. During the week-long course, which coincided with the Southern Farm Show and the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s annual meeting, participants took part in the educational program aimed at helping them better understand all facets of tobacco production and marketing. The two days of classroom studies covered everything …..

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The North Carolina Horse Council to hold equine industry referendum Wednesday

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Horse Council announced plans for holding an equine industry referendum to extend the Horse Industry Promotion Assessment which was first authorized in 1999.  The referendum will be conducted in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Polling places will be set up in each county Cooperative Extension office.  Horse owners will be able to vote on whether or not to extend, for ten years, a $4 per ton assessment being paid by manufacturers of horse feed sold in North Carolina. “The feed assessment has provided essential funding to the North Carolina Horse Council to meet a wide variety of needs …..

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Beloved Dr. Seuss honored in Bladen County and across the nation

Today is a special day! “Today you are you! That’s truer than true. There is no one alive more you-er than you!”, Dr. Seuss once said. The beloved author was born on March 2nd, 1904. Bladen County students are celebrating Dr. Seuss this week in different forms. Read Across America is the most popular way schools are celebrating the iconic artist. Happy Birthday posts have been made on many social media sites as well school students and staff recognizing the literary genius. Many of the celebrations are lasting all week. Some folks are slipping on silly socks, and some are reading “Fox in Sox” to pay tribute to Seuss. BladenOnline …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for March 2017

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for March 2017. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for March is 0.875 percent, unchanged from 0.875 percent in February. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during March is 1.875 percent, unchanged from 1.875 percent in February. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for March are as follows, 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, unchanged from 1.500 percent in February; 1.875 percent with five-year loan terms, down from 2.000 percent in February; 2.250 percent with seven-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.250 percent in …..

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Applications being accepted for the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program

RALEIGH – Applications are now being accepted for a pilot program to grow industrial hemp for research in North Carolina. There is no deadline to apply for the program, which is open to farmers who can show evidence of income from a farming operation. “The N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission has worked diligently and quickly to establish temporary rules before the 2017 planting season,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “There has been considerable interest in this program, and we expect a good number of farmers to apply for licenses.” Under the rules, farmers will need to apply for a license, which will allow the holder to plant, harvest and market the …..

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Troxler appoints Dr. Beth Yongue to head Meat and Poultry Inspection Division

RALEIGH – Dr. Beth Yongue has been named director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Yongue replaces Alan Wade, who retired in January. She will oversee the 120-employee division, which includes meat and poultry inspectors, veterinarians and compliance officers who enforce laws designed to ensure that meat and poultry products entering grocery stores and restaurants in North Carolina pass rigorous guidelines and are properly labeled. The division has 85 inspectors located across the state whose job is to supervise the humane slaughter of animals and to make sure processing plants are in compliance with state and federal laws. “Dr. Yongue …..

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