In 2011 Murphy-Brown LLC, the production arm of Smithfield Foods, had several successful test plots of grain sorghum in North Carolina. Earlier this month at the Joint Commodities Conference, National Sorghum Producers had a booth at the Conference and Lindsay Kennedy, External Affairs Director for NSP said the inquiries into grain sorghum during the conference were:
"It was refreshing to see the interest that we had in North Carolina. Obviously, Murphy-Brown is doing a lot of promotional work and producers are seeing that there is a need for grain sorghum and that there will be a market for that crop there. So yes, it was neat to see the amount of interest that is really there in that area."
Murphy Brown is launching a new website dedicated to their grain purchasing efforts, including grain sorghum— www.mbgrain.com. The site is scheduled to be fully online in March.
Agriculture Leading Economic Success
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gives examples of agricultural accomplishments that can be modeled for economic success across the nation:
"Farmers in the 80s reduced debt, they invested in technology, they increased productivity, they innovated, they produced more and they figured out creative way to use those resources from bio-fuels and renewable energy to local and regional food systems to expanded export markets, all of which led to record income levels last year for farmers."
Duke Energy Receives Rate Hike
Duke Energy's 600,000 customers in South Carolina will soon see their bills go up. The South Carolina Public Service Commission accepted the utility's request to increase overall rates by 6 percent.
Residential rates will go up about 7 percent, or about an additional $6 a month on typical bills. Commercial and industrial rates will increase about 5 percent.
Customers had protested the increase, Duke's second in South Carolina since 2010. Duke plans to seek a third increase this year as it continues to pay for new power plants.
Durable Goods Orders on the Increase
Orders to US factories for long-lasting manufactured goods increased in December — with orders rising 3 percent. That's the second straight monthly gain in durable goods. Economist Joel Naroff says things are looking up for US manufacturers:
"Well we had a really good durable goods number, December's report was telling me at least that the big ticket items are being ordered."