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Bladen farmers getting ready for growing season

By Erin Smith Many Bladen County farmers are busy getting their fields ready for the summer growing season. Tractors can be encountered on our highways throughout  Bladen County as farmers move equipment from one field to another, ripping the soil, and preparing the land to plant.  Ripping the soil is a method farmers use to break up hard-packed soil layers so water can seep through the layers underneath, according to the NC Department of Agriculture.  For many Bladen County farmers, corn, soy beans, tobacco and cotton are all crops that will soon begin to dot the landscape. Some other crops that are reported to be performing well include strawberries and blueberries.  …..

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Duplin Winery Announces the Release of Sweet Rosé This May

ROSE HILL- Duplin Winery is jumping on the “Rosé All Day” train with its newest product addition, Sweet Rosé. Duplin Winery specializes in Muscadine wines, so naturally this sparkling wine is made with a secret blend of delicious Muscadine grapes. Duplin Winery’s last product debut was the release of Pelican Red in 2017. Since then, many dedicated minds have been working together to create the perfect blend of red and white muscadines for the Sweet Rosé and its finally here. Sweet Rosé will be available to all Duplin Winery fans starting Wednesday, May 2. The launch of Sweet Rosé will be celebrated with a ‘Pick-Up Party’ held from May 7-9 …..

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USDA

A Special 2018 Earth Day Message from: Len McBride, State Executive Director, North Carolina Farm Service Agency

America’s farmers and ranchers are the original stewards of the Earth. You understand the fragility of the land and work tirelessly to sustain and protect it to ensure its availability for generations to come. The 2012 United States Census of Agriculture counted 3.2 million American farmers, ranchers and foresters. That’s over 3 million responsible landowners and caretakers continuously looking for new and sustainable operating practices to help preserve our natural resources, while supporting an ever-growing population.  Your use of precision agriculture technologies, along with other conservation practices, help protect drinking water and reduce soil erosion. Your efforts also help preserve and restore wildlife habitats, forests and wetlands.  The world relies …..

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USDA

Submit Loan Requests for Financing Early

The Farm Loan Teams are working on operating loans for spring 2018 so it is important that potential borrowers submit their requests early so they can be timely processed. The Farm Loan Team can help determine which loan programs are best for applicants.   FSA offers a wide range of low-interest loans that can meet the financial needs of any farm operation for just about any purpose.  The traditional farm operating and farm ownership loans can help large and small farm operations take advantage of early purchasing discounts for spring inputs as well expenses throughout the year.   Microloans are a simplified loan program that will provide up to $50,000 to eligible applicants. These loans, targeted for smaller operations and non-traditional …..

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USDA

Payment Limitations by Program

The 2014 Farm Bill established a maximum dollar amount for each program that can be received annually, directly or indirectly, by each person or legal entity. Payment limitations vary by program for 2014 through 2018.   Below is an overview of payment limitations by program.   Commodity and Price Support Programs The annual limitation for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) and Market Loan Gains is $125,000 total.   Conservation Programs The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payment and incentive payment is limited to $50,000. CRP contracts approved before Oct. 1, 2008, may exceed the limitation, subject to payment limitation …..

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Upcoming Events

FAMACHA Goat and Sheep Training May 10

There will be a FAMACHA Certification Training for Goat and Sheep Producers on Thursday, May 10th at 4 pm at West Bladen High School, located at 1600 NC 410 Hwy Bladenboro, NC.  The training will be behind the school at the greenhouse. Becky Spearman, Extension Livestock Agent in Bladen County and Liz Lahti, Extension Livestock Agent in Cumberland and Hoke Counties, will present the training.  There will be a classroom portion of the training and a hands-on portion at the school.  The cost is $15 per card (a farm can certify multiple people and get 1 card or more). Please bring money to class – either cash or check made payable to Bladen Extension.  Please call 910-862-4591 …..

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Taming Tough and Tiny Spaces

By Helen Yoest In most gardens there are corners, ells, edges and trees, all of which create areas that are tough to work with. Oftentimes, the smaller the spot the tougher it is to tame. Instead of ignoring those tough, tiny spaces, consider plantings that will enhance your garden by taking advantage of these available spaces. Side Yards Side yards, or space created by a new addition or any narrow strip near a building or a wall, can seem like a daunting gardening challenge. It takes acrobatics to dig the soil well, drainage is not always great and sometimes the sun in blocked. Instead of viewing the space as one …..

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N.C. strawberry season has arrived

RALEIGH – Strawberry lovers won’t have to wait any longer because N.C. strawberry season is here. Growers in Eastern North Carolina are already harvesting their crop, and growers in the piedmont and mountain regions of the state are slated to begin in the coming weeks. “Despite unusually cold weather in the first quarter of the year, crop conditions at this point look to be good,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It may not be a record-breaking year, but there should be plenty of N.C. strawberries for consumers to enjoy.” North Carolina is the third-largest producer of strawberries in the nation, with about 1,200 acres harvested across the state. The peak …..

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USDA

USDA Announces 2018 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the 2018-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, with the exception of a reduced discount applied to color white, leaf 8 upland cotton. 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, …..

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Still Time to be Counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture

Farmers and ranchers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Although the first deadline has just passed, NASS will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture that represents all farmers and ranchers. Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete it and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow-up with producers through the spring with mailings, phone calls, and personal visits. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are …..

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USDA to Immediately Assist Producers for Qualifying Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program Losses

$34 Million in Payments for 2017 Losses Part of Broad Suite of Programs Aiding Ag Operations  WASHINGTON, April 13, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue $34 million to help agricultural producers recover from 2017 natural disasters through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), which covers losses not covered by certain other USDA disaster assistance programs. These payments are being made available today, and they are part of a broader USDA effort to help producers recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires and drought. A large portion of this assistance will be made available in federally designated disaster areas. “From Florida, Puerto Rico and the …..

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Vendor registration open for the Got To Be NC Festival

The annual Got To Be NC Festival takes place May 18-20 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Got To Be NC members are invited to show, sample and sell your products in the 50,000-square-foot Exposition Center. This is your chance to join more than 100 other North Carolina food and beverage companies to promote your products to thousands of consumers. For booth and event information, including vendor rules, regulations and application, visit http://www.gottobenc.com/node/1542. The deadline to sign up is April 20. Applications with payment are required to secure your booth(s). For more information, contact Sherry Barefoot at Sherry.Barefoot@ncagar.gov or 919- 707-3154. The show is expected to sell out, so apply …..

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USDA

USDA to Immediately Assist Producers for Qualifying Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program Losses

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue $34 million to help agricultural producers recover from 2017 natural disasters through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP), which covers losses not covered by certain other USDA disaster assistance programs. These payments are being made available today, and they are part of a broader USDA effort to help producers recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires and drought. A large portion of this assistance will be made available in federally designated disaster areas. “From Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, through the South, the Southwest, California and the Great Plains, American agriculture …..

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USDA

USDA Announces a Near-Record Year for Farm Loans

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced another year of high activity in its farm loan programs. Hard-working farm families across the country accessed nearly $6 billion in new credit, either directly or guaranteed through commercial lenders in 2017. At year end, FSA was assisting more than 120,000 family farmers with loans totaling just over $25 billion. “FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain …..

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USDA

USDA Implements up to $2.36 Billion to Help Agricultural Producers Recover after 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion, as provided by Congress, to help America’s farmers and ranchers recover from hurricanes and wildfires. The funds are available as part of the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Sign-up for the new program, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will begin no later than July 16. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will make these disaster payments to agricultural producers to offset losses from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and devastating wildfires. The 2017 calendar year was a …..

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NCDA&CS to host Voluntary Agricultural District training for local government and nonprofit staff

RALEIGH – The N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund will hold five workshops across the state for local government and nonprofit staff involved in protecting their communities’ agricultural lands and administering their local Voluntary Agricultural District programs. The Voluntary Agricultural District training workshops are for county leadership, Soil and Water Conservation districts, N.C. Cooperative Extension, the N.C. Forest Service, tax assessors, planning departments, register of deeds, land trusts, and other local and nonprofit staff. The workshops are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Interested participants may register at https://fs30.formsite.com/ ADFPTrustFund/form24/index. html. Workshops will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the following dates: Tuesday, May …..

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USDA

USDA Reopens Enrollment for Improved Dairy Safety Net Tool

WASHINGTON— U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is encouraging dairy producers to consider enrolling in the new and improved Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), which will provide better protections for dairy producers from shifting milk and feed prices. With changes authorized under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has set the enrollment period to run from April 9, 2018 to June 1, 2018. “We recognize the financial hardships many of our nation’s dairy producers are experiencing right now. Folks are losing their contracts and they are getting anxious about getting their bills paid while they watch their milk check come in …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for April 2018

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for April 2018. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for April is 2.000 percent, up from 1.875 percent in March. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during April is 3.000 percent, up from 2.875 percent in March. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for April are as follows, 2.375 percent with three-year loan terms, up from 2.250 percent in March; 2.625 percent with five-year loan terms, up from 2.500 percent in March; 2.750 percent with seven-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.750 percent …..

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USDA

USDA Announces No Actions under Feedstock Flexibility Program

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2018 – 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 in the second quarter of 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. …..

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Bladen County Master Gardeners to conduct plant sales

The Bladen County Master Gardener Volunteers will be having their Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 28, and again on Saturday, May 5, at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown, from 8 a.m. until  1 p.m. each day. A huge variety of North Carolina grown trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and tomatoes will be available at reasonable prices. This is the only fund raiser the Master Gardeners have to sponsor two $500 scholarships for college bound students with a focus in agriculture and to promote the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. Share:

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Be careful when burning debris in spring

Wildfire risk typically higher through May; burning debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service is urging residents across the state to think safety and exercise caution during the spring fire season, which typically lasts from March to May. “Burning debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “If you’re thinking about burning debris, contact your county forest ranger first. The ranger can offer technical advice and explain the best options to help maximize safety for people, property and the forest.” During the spring fire season, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard …..

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N.C. Forest Service encourages people to plant a tree to celebrate Arbor Day

RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service is encouraging all North Carolinians to plant a tree this weekend to celebrate Arbor Day in North Carolina, which takes place on Friday, March 16. Seedlings are available to order through the N.C. Forest Service Nursery and Tree Improvement Program. Trees bring more than scenic beauty; large deciduous trees shade and cool houses in the summer, reducing dependence on air conditioning. Evergreen trees help save on heating bills by blocking the wind in the winter. Trees are also excellent filters for pollution that find their way into our lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and underground sources of drinking water. “Residents interested in planting trees …..

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Freezing temperatures have farmers working long hours 

By Erin Smith Freezing temperatures the past several nights have had farmers keeping long hours to save their early fruit crops. Blueberry farmers have been irrigating their crops with water to protect blossoms and early fruit from freezing. North Carolina State University (NCSU) recommends using irrigation systems to control frost on blueberry plants that are susceptible to freezing temperatures. NCSU recommends using 12 sprinklers per acre. Farmers were feeling optimistic on Thursday morning as they checked their crops and fields. Carey Horrell with Barnes Food Company/Big Sky Blueberry Farm near White Lake said, “I feel like we are doing well.” He said his sprinklers were still operating as of 9:30 …..

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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. The above payments 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 …..

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Commissioners approve option to purchase agreement with Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial

By Erin Smith The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday night and approved an option to purchase agreement with Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial. The option to purchase agreement came about as part of a grant opportunity, according to Bladen County Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess. He said the Rural ReadySites program through the North Carolina Department of Commerce is making $12 million in funds available for 10 sites which will be selected from the applications submitted. Some of the criteria for consideration for the program include: the site must be located in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county; the site must be publicly owned or controlled; it must …..

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USDA

$1 million USDA award expands public-private partnerships for ag sustainability

The NC Pork Council is proud to be a partner in this successful, on-going collaboration between Smithfield Foods and Environmental Defense Fund. This is a guest post by Shelby Shelton, which originally appeared on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Growing Returns blog. A collaboration between Smithfield Foods and Environmental Defense Fund has reduced fertilizer loss and improved soil health on more than 400,000 acres in the regions where Smithfield sources feed grain. That acreage is set to grow thanks to a new USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) award of $1,080,000. The RCPP project will expand Smithfield’s ongoing grain sustainability efforts in North Carolina and scale up the program in Iowa, providing …..

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USDA Helps Cotton Producers Maintain, Expand Domestic Market

(MEMPHIS, TN, March 3, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced at the 66th Annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking action to assist cotton producers through a Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton. “America’s cotton producers have now faced four years of financial stress, just like the rest of our major commodities, but with a weaker safety net,” Perdue said. “In particular, cotton producers confront high input and infrastructure costs, which leaves them more financially leveraged than most of their colleagues. That economic burden has been felt by …..

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USDA

USDA Helps Cotton Producers Maintain, Expand Domestic Market

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced at the 66th Annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking action to assist cotton producers through a Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton. “America’s cotton producers have now faced four years of financial stress, just like the rest of our major commodities, but with a weaker safety net,” Perdue said. “In particular, cotton producers confront high input and infrastructure costs, which leaves them more financially leveraged than most of their colleagues. That economic burden has been felt by the entire cotton market, including the gins, …..

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Funding available for farmers markets advertising

RALEIGH – North Carolina farmers markets can expand their advertising budgets through of a new cooperative grant being offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. As part of the grant, the department will pay half of the total cost of advertising up to $2,500. “There are more than 250 farmers markets across North Carolina, and many of them are operated by local municipalities and nonprofits,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We hope these grants will help offset the cost of advertising for local markets, so they can better promote themselves and the farmers they represent.” To qualify, all advertising must take place between March 1 and Dec. 31, …..

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USDA

Secretary Perdue Statement on Confirmation of Bill Northey for Key USDA Post

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the Senate’s long-awaited confirmation of Bill Northey to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Northey will serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS)*. Perdue issued the following statement: “I applaud Bill Northey’s patience over these many months, which demonstrates what a strong leader he will be at USDA.  We thank everyone who worked on his confirmation.  Bill will come aboard at a crucial time, as his knowledge and expertise will be immediately put to use as the new Farm Bill is formulated to address the needs of American farmers.  In addition, his leadership will be key …..

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Grant funding available for N.C. agritourism farms

RALEIGH – North Carolina farms that welcome visitors can take advantage of the 2018 Agritourism Marketing Cost-Share Grant available through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “There are more than 1,000 agritourism farms across North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This grant is a great opportunity for agritourism farms to attract more farm visitors, increase demand for on-farm experiences and add to their overall farm value.” The $100,000 grant, which is funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, is available for individual farms or a group of agritourism farms to assist with offsetting the cost of marketing efforts. Funding is available for marketing materials and tools …..

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Board of Agriculture to meet March 1 in Chapel Hill

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Agriculture will meet Thursday, March 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Stan Adams Training Center in Chapel Hill. The board will take up the following items: *Approval of revisions to the imported fire ant quarantine. *Review and initial approval of expiring rules of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Topic areas include plant protection, fertilizer, animal welfare section and sanitation of bedding. *Adoption of rules pertaining to food safety, including the Produce Safety Rule as part of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, and Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventative Controls for Human Food. *Hear a legislative update/preview. *In addition, new board …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Cotton Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, DC — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 13 members, 13 alternate members and one advisor to serve on the Cotton Board. The following appointees will serve three-year terms ending Dec. 31, 2020. “The Cotton Board carries out research and promotional activities that strengthen the competitive position of cotton by expanding demand in domestic and foreign markets, improving fiber quality, and lowering costs of production,” said Perdue. “These appointees represent a cross section of the industry and I know that the cotton industry will be well served by their work.” The newly appointed member is Pace Hindsley, Marvell, Ark. Re-appointed members are: Michael K. Kobori, Berkeley, …..

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NCDA&CS schedules a public meeting Feb. 28 in Pilot Mountain on proposed gypsy moth treatments

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is seeking input from residents and other interested parties in Surry County concerning planned treatment activities for the non-native, highly destructive gypsy moth. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Armfield Civic Center, 873 West 52 Bypass, Pilot Mountain. Information on proposed treatment options for the 21,755-acre site will be discussed. Field monitoring activities conducted by the department have determined that reproducing populations of the gypsy moth exist just north of the town of Pilot Mountain, including the Ararat community. U.S. Highway 52 bisects the block north to south. Portions of Ararat Road and Old Westfield Road …..

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Rotary Club learns about peanuts

The Elizabethtown Rotary Club learned about peanuts from Bladen County farmer Dan Ward of Clarkton. Ward updated the Rotarians about progress being made in the peanut industry. Normally, Bladen’s farmers produce 4,500 acres of peanuts each year, said Ward. According to the National Peanut Board, peanuts help to fight hunger in communities of need, whether in the US or abroad. According to a release, the American peanut industry works hard to feed the hungry domestically and around the globe. Peanut-based products (like RUTF) support food security and economic growth in the developing world. Ward told the Rotarians that RUTF is used in many countries to assist malnourished children. The RUTF …..

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Cultured Seafood Festival set for New Bern March 9

Public event part of annual N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference NEW BERN – The 30th annual N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference returns to New Bern March 7-10. The conference features workshops, seminars and farm tours for aquaculture farmers across the Southeast. This year’s event also will include the first-ever Cultured Seafood Festival offering a variety of all-you-can-eat aquaculture dishes for the public. The Cultured Seafood Festival will be held on March 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Chef James “Smoke” Boyd, owner of The Flame Catering and Banquet Centre will offer variations of aquaculture dishes including North Carolina oysters, crab cakes, clams, tilapia, mountain trout, …..

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Consider Risk Protection Coverage before the Crop Sales Deadlines

The Farm Service Agency encourages producers to consider USDA crop risk protection options: Federal Crop Insurance obtained from a Crop Insurance Sales Agent. Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. The deadline to obtain coverage for spring planted corn, sweet corn and tobacco is March 15th. http://ctfarmrisk.uconn.edu/ Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available through your County FSA Office. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, organic, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops   Free NAP catastrophic coverage is …..

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Perdue Unveils Farmers.gov, Interactive Website for Agricultural Producers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today unveiled Farmers.gov, the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers.gov is now live but will have multiple features added over the coming months to allow agricultural producers to make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs. The website, launched at a breakfast hosted by the Michigan Farm Bureau, gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.       “Many farmers are out in their fields using equipment that is connected to …..

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Ag Forum on Thursday will offer economic outlook update on N.C. agriculture

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting a free event for farmers and agribusinesses during the annual Southern Farm Show. The 13th annual Ag Development Forum will focus on international trade, ag labor and the 2018 economic outlook for N.C. agriculture. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will also present the Exporter of the Year award and deliver his State of Agriculture address. WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, Feb. 1, 9:30 a.m. Holshouser Building, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh AGENDA*: 9:30 a.m. – “Agricultural Economic Outlook,” Drs. Michael Walden and Blake Brown, economists at N.C. State University 10 a.m. – “Ag and Trade Issues: A Washington Perspective,” Randy Russell, The Russell Group. 10:45 a.m. – “Successful Exporting …..

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NCDA&CS to host farmers market workshop March 8

RALEIGH –  The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host a workshop for farmers market managers in Rocky Mount on March 8. Titled “A Successful Season 2018 – Growing Your Farmers Market,” the event is an excellent way for market managers and vendors to come together from across the state, exchange ideas and share knowledge that can be used on the local level. The workshop is made possible through a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. “Farmers markets are an important part of the state’s $84 billion agriculture economy,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Farmers markets provide direct contact between consumers and the people who grow their …..

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Perdue Announces USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018

Mifflintown, PA – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018 during a town hall at Reinford Farms in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. “Since my first day as the Secretary of Agriculture, I’ve traveled to 30 states, listening to the people of American agriculture about what is working and what is not. The conversations we had and the people we came across helped us craft USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018,” said Secretary Perdue. “These principles will be used as a road map – they are our way of letting Congress know what we’ve heard from the hard-working men …..

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NC Industrial Hemp Commission meets, CBD oil discussed

By Erin Smith   The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission met on Thursday morning via a conference call and approved 24 applications. They also had a discussion regarding the Federal Food and Drug Administrations views on CBD oil which is a Hemp extract. The Commission members noted that those who are applying to grow industrial hemp are growing the flower heads, they are not manufacturing the oil. The Commission stressed that those who are growing the flowers are not extracting the oil. “What they are doing is legal within the parameters of the pilot programs,” said Commission Chairman Dr. Thomas Melton. He stressed that none of the discussion is meant …..

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2018 N.C. Boll Weevil Assessment Remains at 75 cents Per Acre

RALEIGH — The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina has set the 2018 boll weevil assessment at 75 cents per acre of cotton. The amount remains the same as in 2017. The fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage in North Carolina for any re-introduction of the boll weevil and to respond promptly with eradication treatments if necessary. “This trapping and monitoring program is a great investment for farmers who already have a lot of variables to manage in raising a crop,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Eliminating the boll weevil from our state years ago has allowed us to have a viable cotton …..

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USDA

USDA Announces a Near-Record Year for Farm Loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced another year of high activity in its farm loan programs. Hard-working farm families across the country accessed nearly $6 billion in new credit, either directly or guaranteed through commercial lenders in 2017. At year end, FSA was assisting more than 120,000 family farmers with loans totaling just over $25 billion. “FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain commercial credit, …..

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Bladen County Farm Service Agency Announces County Committee Election Results

Bladen County U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director CED Chris Tatum announced that County Committee elections are over and the ballots have been counted. Joshua Vendrick of Bladenboro was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) 2 and Delois Wright of Bladenboro will serve as the first alternate. “County Committee members are a critical component of the day-to- day operations of FSA,” said Tatum.  “They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers.” All recently elected County Committee members will take office in January 2018, and will be joining the existing committee.” Every FSA office is required …..

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N.C. Pesticide Board announces case settlements

RALEIGH – The N.C. Pesticide Board recently approved the following settlement agreements for individuals in Johnston, Jones, New Hanover and Rowan counties, and Trenton, Ga. Settlements included instances of pesticide drift and selling restricted-use pesticides to individuals without a valid pesticide license. Settlements are listed by county below: (Columbus) Anthony R. Allred, general manager of Land O’Lakes Golf Course in Whiteville, agreed to pay $900 for using pesticides in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Pesticides labeled for use on a farm were used to treat areas of the golf course. The agricultural pesticides used were not labeled for golf course use. (Johnston) Joshua Daughtry of Kenly agreed to pay …..

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USDA

USDA Announces National Peanut Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2018–Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today appointed five members and six alternates to serve on the National Peanut Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and ending Dec. 31, 2020. One appointee will serve the remaining one-year portion of a vacancy. Newly appointed members are: Tom Corcoran, Eufaula, Ala. William T. Carte, Live Oak, Fla. Paul Rogers, Wakefield, Va. Newly appointed alternates are: Thomas Adams, Newville, Ala. Jeremy Rolling, Westville, Fla. Westley B. Drake, Newsoms, Va. Jeff Roper, Lubbock, Texas (1-year term) Reappointed members are: Joe H. Morgan, Hattiesburg, Miss. Dan Ward, Clarkton, N.C. Reappointed alternates are: Lonnie Fortner, Port Gibson, Miss. Raymond P. …..

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Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund and Seymour Johnson AFB partnership provides conservation easement to landowners

Landowners John and Ingrid McAden, front, with Dewitt Hardee, left, and Jonathan Lanier, middle, of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Robert Schaefer, right, of the Working Lands Trust.  RALEIGH – Landowners signed the first two conservation easement agreements under a joint partnership between the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund and the United States Air Force. Two farms, Hubers Farm and McAden Farm, were recently awarded more than $1.5 million to help protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises. The landowners, along with the staffs at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the ADFP Trust Fund, and the Working Lands Trust, worked together to accomplish this …..

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Cape Fear Regional Cattle Conference scheduled

The ninth annual Cape Fear Regional Cattle Conference is scheduled for Thursday, January 25th, at the Southeastern N.C. Agricultural Events Center located at 1027 Highway 74 East in Lumberton.  The conference starts at 4:30 p.m. and costs $5 – pay at the door. Dr. Wes Watson will discuss fly control in the beef herd and Dr. Harrison Dudley will discuss herd health calendars and calf care. The program includes a meal and vendors. To register, call the Bladen County Cooperative Extension office at 910-862-4591 or email becky_spearman@ncsu.edu by January 19th. Share:

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Continuing Education course offered for pesticide license holders

The Bladen County Extension Office will offer continuing education credits for pesticide license holders.  All classes will be held at the Bladen County Extension office located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown.  Remember to bring your license with you to class. Dates and credits offered: January 23rd at 1 p.m. will have two hours V/safety credit; March 20th at 4 p.m. will have two hours V/safety credit; March 20th at 6 p.m. will have two hours of X,  A, B , D, G, H, K, L, M, N, and O credits; August 14th at 5 p.m. will have two hours V/safety credit; and August 14th at 7 p.m. will have 2 hours of X, A, B, …..

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Agriculture and Forest Landowners Meeting Scheduled

There will be a meeting for agriculture and forest landowners on Tuesday, January 23rd, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Bladen County Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown. Topics to be discussed include Forest Management as an Investment and Working with a Consulting Forester; Landowner Property Rights – Bladen Sheriff’s Office and NC Wildlife Resources; North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its impacts on agriculture; Farm Bill and Farm Services Agency; Natural Resources Conservation District, Bladen Soil and Water District, Bladen Tax Office Updates, and Pesticide Reminders/Best Practices. Lunch is provided.  To register, call the Bladen Extension office at 910-862-4591 or email becky_spearman@ncsu.edu by Jan. 22.  There will be …..

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Bladen Soil and Water Conservation scholarship applications available

The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District now has applications available for the 2018 scholarship. The scholarship is valued at $500 and is designed to encourage students who plan on majoring in either agriculture or natural resources and to encourage them for such a career through an organized program of study at a North Carolina college or university. QUALIFICATIONS – Applications will be accepted from students meeting the following qualifications: *Planning to or already enrolled in a North Carolina college or university for 2018 *A senior at a Bladen County high school or a resident of Bladen County *Planning to pursue a two or four-year degree in an agricultural or natural …..

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Bladen Soil and Water board meeting

The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors will meet a 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in the McDuffie Room at the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown, NC. For additional information call 910-247- 3457 Share:

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USDA

Perdue Announces Farm Service Agency State Committee Appointees

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, January 4, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Committee Appointees. State committees are selected by the Secretary, serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, and are responsible for carrying out FSA’s farm programs within delegated authorities. “The State Committees will help to ensure USDA is providing our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers with the best customer service,” Secretary Perdue said. “They serve as a liaison between USDA and the producers in each state across the nation by keeping them informed and hearing their appeals and complaints. The committees are made up mostly of active farmers …..

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NC Muscadine Growers Association to meet at Lu Mil Vineyard

Lu Mil Vineyard will be hosting The North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association as they conduct their annual conference on Saturday, January 20th, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Cost to attend the conference is $50 plus $25 membership fee. The cost includes a lunch. Topics to be discussed include Opportunities for Muscadine Grape Breeding; Research Progress: Muscadine Grape and Your Health; H2A Labor Program: How it Works; Marketing Fresh NC Muscadine Grapes: Study Findings; Business Session; Thoughts About Muscadine Grape Production: Watering, Spraying and Fertilization; and Pruning—Fresh Marketing Vs. Processing and Open Discussion. See the proposed agenda below. If you have questions or plan to attend, contact Dianna at 910-267-4531 to register. …..

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USDA

USDA announces Commodity Lending Rates for January 2018

WASHINGTON, D. C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for January 2018. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for January is 1.625 percent, up from 1.500 percent in December. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during January is 2.625 percent, up from 2.500 percent in December. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for January are as follows, 1.875 percent with three-year loan terms, up from 1.750 percent in December; 2.125 percent with five-year loan terms, up from 2.000 percent in December; 2.250 percent with seven-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.250 percent in December; …..

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Farm Service Agency – A Vital Source of Assistance to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 – Through the work of dedicated staff in over 2,100 county and state offices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides vital farm safety-net assistance to agricultural producers across America. “We’ve seen recent challenges in farm income and commodity prices,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “The ‘safety net’ provided in the 2014 Farm Bill has helped producers withstand economic losses as well as losses resulting from natural disasters. Loans for operating expenses, farm purchases and other purposes help current producers stay in business and allow a new generation of farmers and …..

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USDA

USDA Announces No Actions under Feedstock Flexibility Program

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 Feedstock Flexibility Program was reauthorized …..

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Len McBride to Serve as State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in North Carolina

Raleigh, N.C. – The Trump Administration recently appointed Len McBride as the new State Executive Director (SED) for the USDA North Carolina Farm Service Agency (FSA). McBride started his new position on Dec. 11. Prior to his appointment, McBride served as a district director for FSA based in Statesville. He began his career with FSA 32 years ago in the Cleveland County FSA office. McBride lives in Sherrills Ford with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys offshore fishing on the beautiful North Carolina coastline. The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs. The agency offers farmers a strong safety …..

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A Vital Source of Assistance to America’s Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON – Through the work of dedicated staff in over 2,100 county and state offices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides vital farm safety-net assistance to agricultural producers across America. “We’ve seen recent challenges in farm income and commodity prices,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Farm Production and Conservation mission area. “The ‘safety net’ provided in the 2014 Farm Bill has helped producers withstand economic losses as well as losses resulting from natural disasters. Loans for operating expenses, farm purchases and other purposes help current producers stay in business and allow a new generation of farmers and ranchers get their …..

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Registration underway for Bladen County youth

By: Charlotte Smith Agriculture is the leading industry for Bladen County, NC. A lot of area students take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the topic. The Bladen County Agriculture Extension office announced a project coming up in the new year that may interest some of our local children. There will be a 2018 Chicken Project.  According to Stacie C. Kinlaw, with the N. C. Cooperative Extension – Bladen County Center,  the upcoming project enables youth to learn and develop the responsibility for raising, caring, and showing chickens; provides opportunity for public speaking in front of a judge; creates an opportunity for egg business in the future; and many other great life skills.  Participants must be ages 5 …..

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Golden Leaf accepting scholarship applications

The Golden LEAF Scholarship applications are now available at CFNC.org/goldenleaf. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 1, 2018. A total of 215 awards will be offered to first-time recipients to assist with tuition at participating institutions for the 2018-19 academic year. The awards are valued up to $12,000 ($3,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate education) for high school seniors and up to $9,000 for community college transfer students from qualifying counties who attend a participating North Carolina campus. Be on the lookout for an upcoming change in the application process. The Golden LEAF Foundation will soon be moving to an online only application process to increase …..

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Board of Agriculture will meet Dec. 19 via conference call

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Agriculture will hold a meeting Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 1:30 p.m. via a conference call. The board will take up the following items: *Approval of increased veterinary lab fees *Re-adoption of N.C. Forest Service rules The call-in number for the meeting is 919-850-2992.   About the Board of Agriculture The Board of Agriculture is a policymaking body that adopts regulations for many of the programs administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members are appointed by the governor. The commissioner of agriculture serves as chairman of the board. Share:

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Bladen County FSA Announces 2017 County Committee Election Results

The Bladen County Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently completed its 2017 County Committee Elections and Robert Joshua Vendrick was re- elected to a three year term beginning January 1, 2018.  Mr. Vendrick will represent Local Administrative Area-2, which includes Abbots, Bladenboro, Bethel, and Hollow Townships. FSA committees are responsible for local administration of USDA- FSA farm programs, under the guidance of the State FSA Committee and applicable Federal Laws and regulations.  The Bladen County FSA Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Powell-Melvin Agriculture Service Center, USDA-FSA Office, located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. Share:

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WBHS FFA Participates in State FFA Livestock Evaluation Event

The West Bladen FFA Chapter participated in the 2017 NC FFA Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event on November 28th, 2017. This event took place in Raleigh, NC and is sponsored by the NC Cattlemen’s Association. Team members were: Amelia Harris, Logan Lewis, Helen Lopez, MacKenzie Morris, and Sean Nunnery. At this event, students evaluated livestock based on breeding and market characteristics, defended their decisions to a panel of judges, completed a written test, and a team activity. Harris, Morris, and Nunnery are also members of the Bladen County 4-H Youth Livestock Team. Share:

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RAFEDAIN SHISH KABOB RESTAURANT, INC. RECALLS CHICKEN PATTY SHISH KABOB PRODUCTS

Rafedain Shish Kabob Restaurant, Inc., a Detroit, Mich. establishment, is recalling approximately 813 pounds of chicken patty shish kabob products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced. The products contain milk, wheat and soy, known allergens, which are not declared on the product label. The chicken patty shish kabob items were produced on various dates between Feb. 7, 2017 and Nov. 27, 2017. The following products are subject to recall: 9-oz. vacuum-packed tray packages containing four pieces of “RAFEDAIN FULLY COOKED CHICKEN PATTY SHISH KABOB.” The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST 44196” inside the USDA mark …..

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USDA

Agricultural Producers Reminded of Approaching Deadline

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2017 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steve Peterson today reminded eligible farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they must return county committee election ballots to their local FSA office by Dec. 4, 2017, to ensure that their votes are counted. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 4, 2017. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office. “The last day to submit your ballot is just one week away,” said Peterson. “Approximately 1.5 million producers are eligible to vote in this year’s election. This is your opportunity …..

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Deadline for NC Farmers to Submit Ballots for Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) North Carolina Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that FSA county committee elections began Nov. 6, with the mailing of ballots. Eligible voters must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 4, 2017, to ensure that their vote is counted. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 4, 2017. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2018. Nearly 7,700 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year …..

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Celebrating 33 years of service

By Erin Smith Tuesday afternoon was a bittersweet time as friends and co-workers gathered to recognize Sandra Cain for 33 years of service in Cooperative Extension as she prepares to retire on Thursday, Nov. 30. Cain, who is currently the Director of Bladen County Cooperative Extension, began her career with Cooperative Extension as a 4-H agent in Hoke County before moving to Bladen County Cooperative Extension to serve as a 4-H agent in 2002. Keith Walters, Southeast District Extension Director, said, “She is a great employee and she is a part of Bladen County.” Walters said he first met Cain when he was a 4-H member and Cain was the …..

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Eat More Peanuts: Bladen County Farm City

    North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Bladen County Center in conjunction with the Elizabethtown Kiwanis Club hosted the annual Bladen County Farm City Banquet on Tuesday morning at the Powell-Melvin Building on Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. Local peanut farmer and advocate, Dan Ward, was this year’s guest speaker. Ward updated those in attendance about progress being made in the peanut industry. This year has been bountiful for peanut crops according to Ward’s report. “Eat more peanuts,” the local farmer told those in attendance. Sponsors for this year’s event include the following: North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Bladen County Center, Elizabethtown Kiwanis Club, Bladen County Farm Bureau, Smithfield Hog Production, First …..

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Agritourism farms offer holiday attractions

RALEIGH – Whether you are looking to cut your own Christmas tree, or take a sleigh ride with Santa, North Carolina farms offer an abundance of options for family fun this holiday season. “Agritourism farms help connect our rural and urban communities across the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “They offer great family entertainment while educating about our state’s No. 1 industry, agriculture.” Following is a list of several agritourism farms offering special holiday programs organized by regions and dates: Western North Carolina *Justus Orchard in Hendersonville offers 21 varieties of apples on its fourth-generation apple farm. In addition to fresh apples, visitors can find delicious baked goods, apple cider …..

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Poultry plant opens in Bladenboro

By Erin Smith A new poultry processing plant has opened its doors in Bladenboro. The owners of Carrol Poultry, LLC are Hera Khan and Gulzar Khan. The plant is not your ordinary poultry processing plant. This plant uses the Muslim Orthodox Halal method of killing the poultry and preparing it for processing. Hera Khan explained that workers kill the chicken and offer a blessing over the bird, all by hand. He emphasized that in addition to meeting the standards of the Halal tradition, the meat must also pass the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection as well. “We do not pre-stun the birds,” said Hera Khan. He said once the …..

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Bladen County Prescribed Burners Interest Meeting

There will be a Prescribed Burners Association Interest meeting on January 11th from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. Dinner will be provided. Prescribed burns are one tool you can use to help manage your land. The speaker will be Jesse Wimberly with the Sandhills Prescribed Burners Association. Please pre-register by January 5th by calling Benjy Strope at 910-874-5562. Share:

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Wreath Making with Fresh Greenery

There will be a class on WreathMaking with Fresh Greenery offered on Wednesday, December 6th, from 6 until 9 p.m. at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office. Learn how to make elegant wreaths for the holiday season using fresh greenery. You will need to bring your own 12-inch or 24-inch straw or green wreath base. Cost is $10 and you must register by December 4th. For more information or to register, call 910-862-4591. Share:

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Pansy Pots with Spring Bulbs

There will be a program on Pansy Pots with Spring Bulbs on Monday, November 27th. The program will be offered at greenhouse located next to the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. All materials, bulbs, and fertilizer will be provided. The cost for the program is $25 and you must pre-register by November 22nd. To pre-register call 910-862-4591. Share:

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Come learn about Pecans

There will be a program on Thursday, November 30, from 3 until 5 p.m. called “Pecan Treats.” The event will take place at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension office located at 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown. Everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite pecan treat to enter and share. Cost to enter is $1 and the winner will receive a $10 gift card.   Share:

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ATTENTION: BLADEN COUNTY CORN FARMERS

Did you grow corn in Bladen County in or after 2011?  Syngenta Global engineered a genetically modified corn seed and distributed that seed for planting in 2011 without first obtaining the necessary approvals from export partners to allow that corn to be exported when brought to market.  As a result, U.S. corn prices suffered severely when export markets refused to accept any U.S. corn.  Because of their conduct, Syngenta has agreed to pay 1.5 billion dollars to settle all claims brought by U.S. farmers and others in the U.S. negatively affected by falling corn prices since 2011.  If you were involved in any corn production since 2011, please call Wes Johnson at The …..

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Elections for the 2017 County Committee

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee Elections are underway in Bladen County.  It is important that every eligible producer participate in these elections because FSA county committees are a link between the agricultural community and the USDA. The 2017 election in Bladen County will be conducted for the representative Local Administrative Area (LAA)  # 2 representing Hollow, Bethel, Bladenboro, and Abbotts Township. County committee members are a critical component of FSA operations. Committees should be comprised of members who reflect the diversity of producers involved in production agriculture in Bladen County.  This means that producers representing underserved groups or communities should be on the committee to speak on behalf …..

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USDA

USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage for 2018

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting Nov. 1, 2017, farmers and ranchers with base acres in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net program may enroll for the 2018 crop year. The enrollment period will end on Aug. 1, 2018. “Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year,” said Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steve Peterson. “I encourage producers to contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment to enroll.” The producers on a farm that are not enrolled for the 2018 …..

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Equine EEE found in Bladen County

A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has recently been identified in a horse in Bladen County, North Carolina.  The virus, which can infect both humans and horses, was first detected in the horse on October 23rd. Due to the severity of the disease, the animal was euthanized. No human cases of EEE have been identified in NC so far this year. EEE is one of the most severe diseases in both horses and humans in the United States.   Although rare in North Carolina, once a person is infected there is a 33% likelihood of death.  Survivors of EEE may suffer from long term effects to the nervous system. …..

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Troxler announces new beehive grant program, availability of farmland preservation grants; application deadline is Dec. 15

RALEIGH – County governments, nonprofit groups and certified beekeepers pursuing farmland preservation projects and beehive grants have until Dec. 15 to apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. This year’s request for proposals includes statewide general appropriations for traditional farm preservation projects and the new N.C. Beehive Grant Fund for the purchase and construction of beehives. The trust fund’s purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms. Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public …..

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USDA

USDA Provee Asistencia a Productores de Leche de Puerto Rico Afectados por Huracanes

A raíz de los huracanes de 2017, el Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (“U.S. Department of Agriculture” o USDA) está proporcionando asistencia de emergencia a los productores de leche del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. El USDA tiene programado comenzar inscripciones el 21 de octubre de 2017. “Seguimos enviando personal adicional de USDA a la isla, y también seguimos incrementando la asistencia material”, dijo el Secretario de Agricultura, Sonny Perdue. “Los productores de leche necesitan ayuda inmediatamente, y la Administración de Trump se la está brindando”. Los Huracanes Irma y María devastaron el sector agrícola de Puerto Rico, incluyendo las operaciones lecheras. El Secretario Perdue anunció que la …..

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USDA

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

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Florida Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director Mark Cotrell 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 Cotrell. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations.” During fiscal year 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017), Florida FSA obligated $33,625,449 million in loans to underserved borrowers and beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA …..

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Payments to Deceased Producers

In order to claim a Farm Service Agency (FSA) payment on behalf of a deceased producer, all program conditions for the payment must have been met before the applicable producer’s date of death. If a producer earned a FSA payment prior to becoming deceased, the following is the order of precedence of the representatives of the producer: *administrator or executor of the estate *the surviving spouse *surviving sons and daughters, including adopted children *surviving father and mother *surviving brothers and sisters *heirs of the deceased person who would be entitled to payment according to the State law In order for FSA to release the payment, the legal representative of the …..

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USDA

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Eligible livestock losses include grazing losses not covered under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), loss of purchased feed and/or mechanically harvested feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, additional cost of transporting water because of an eligible drought and additional cost associated with gathering livestock to treat for cattle tick fever. Eligible honeybee losses include loss of purchased feed due to an …..

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Troxler announces new beehive grant program, availability of farmland preservation grants; application deadline is Dec. 15

RALEIGH – County governments, nonprofit groups and certified beekeepers pursuing farmland preservation projects and beehive grants have until Dec. 15 to apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. This year’s request for proposals includes statewide general appropriations for traditional farm preservation projects and the new N.C. Beehive Grant Fund for the purchase and construction of beehives. The trust fund’s purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms. Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public …..

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USDA

USDA Processing Pending Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Enrollment Offers

  Acceptance of Most 2018 Offers Temporarily Suspended The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and it will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year. “All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through Sept. 30, 2017 – except for those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (CP42) – will be approved,” said Steven J. Peterson, Acting Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator. “Additionally, we are temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward to provide time to review CRP allocation levels, and to avoid exceeding the …..

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USDA

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

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Utah Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director, Jeanine Cook, 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 Cook. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations.” During fiscal year 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017), Utah FSA obligated $35,422,155  million in loans to underserved borrowers and beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA defines underserved …..

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Ag’em Up Days held

Contributed Ag’em Up Days, a two day Agricultural Field Day Adventure for Bladen County 3rd graders, was held on October 4th and 5th, 2017 at the Bladen County Parks and Recreation field and picnic area located on HWY 701 in Elizabethtown, NC. Bladen County Cooperative Extension, Bladen County Farm Bureau, Cape Fear Farm Credit, Bladen County Livestock Association, Four County Electric, Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District, Farm Service Agency, Prestage Farms, Representative William and Brenda Brisson, NC Blueberry Council, Inc., Southeast Farm Equipment, Smithfield Hog Production, West Bladen High School FFA, East Bladen High School FFA and the Bladen County Board of Education worked together to create this annual …..

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Users reminded peak-season soil testing fees go into effect Dec. 1

RALEIGH — Fall is not only a great time of year for football, pumpkin spice and changing leaves, it is also an excellent time to take soil samples for testing through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Services Lab. By submitting samples before Dec. 1, users can avoid peak-season fees and get results back quickly. The peak-season testing fee will be in effect through March 31, 2018.  During this time period, the cost of soil testing is $4 per sample. The fee originated in 2013 to encourage earlier sampling in the fall, one of the busiest times of the year for the lab. Outside of the peak …..

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Bladen County Third Graders learning about agriculture

  By Erin Smith Bladen County’s third grade students spent Wednesday and Thursday at the Bladen County Park learning about agriculture during the Age ‘Em Up Days events. All of Bladen County’s public schools, Emerau:Bladen Charter School, and Elizabethtown Christian Academy, were invited to attend and take part. The East Bladen and West Bladen High School FFA students joined Bladen County Cooperative Extension staff and Agricultural Agents by offering discussions and demonstrations about an array of topics including soil sampling, livestock, poultry, and bee keeping. Sheep were baaing and a cow bellowed as students asked questions about their care and size they will reach when grown. The students were most fascinated by the honey …..

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USDA

USDA Issues Farm Safety Net and Conservation Payments

WASHINGTON  – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that over $9.6 billion in payments will be made, beginning this week, to producers through the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Conservation Reserve (CRP) programs.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing approximately $8 billion in payments under the ARC and PLC programs for the 2016 crop year, and $1.6 billion under CRP for 2017. “Many of these payments will be made to landowners and producers in rural communities that have recently been ravaged by drought, wildfires, and deadly hurricanes,” Perdue said.  “I am hopeful this financial assistance will help those experiencing losses with immediate cash …..

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USDA

Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma Granted Extra Time, Procedures, to Document and Claim Disaster Losses

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced special procedures to assist producers who lost crops or livestock or had other damage to their farms or ranches as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Also, because of the severe and widespread damage caused by the hurricanes, USDA will provide additional flexibility to assist farm loan borrowers. “The impact is shocking and will be felt for many months,” said Secretary Perdue. “In addition to efforts being made on the ground to assist producers, we have taken a hard look at our regular reporting requirements and adjusted them so producers can take care of pressing needs first and mostly deal with …..

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Study shows N.C. wine and grape industry grows to $1.97 billion

RALEIGH – A recent study has found that North Carolina’s wine and grape industry continues to grow, posting a 15 percent increase since the last study was conducted two years ago. The total economic impact of the industry now is $1.97 billion. “When you establish a vineyard in a community, you are physically and financially setting down roots in that community for the long haul,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Growth in the state’s wine industry represents long-term economic growth for rural North Carolina.” The study was commissioned by the N.C. Wine and Grape Growers Council and conducted by Frank, Rimerman + Co. using data from 2016. The firm also …..

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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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