The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host two grower information sessions for farmers interested in selling their products to Lowes Foods and Merchants Distributors Inc. The sessions, which were first held last year, developed out of the need to meet growing demand for locally sourced foods in grocery stores. The information sessions will address guidelines Lowes Foods requires to sell in its store. The first session will be Feb. 19 in Lillington. And another session will be held Feb. 20 in Kinston. Each meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include lunch. There is no charge for the event, but registration is required. For more information on registration, visit our calendar.
US Economic Growth will Trail Global Growth Next Ten Years
A new Agriculture Department report has projections for U.S. economic growth over the next ten years. David Stallings, USDA analyst and coordinator of the report:
“We are going to be growing a little more slowly than the rest of the world.”
Developing countries in Latin America and Asia are expected to pull up the rate of global economic growth over the next ten years to about 3.33 percent, but in the US:
“We are still recovering from the great recession, that has been a slow rate of growth over the past 3-4 years. We see that picking up over 2013-2014, then returning to our long run trend growth rate of 2.6% a year.”
But, the US share of the gross domestic product could drop from 25% currently to 24 by the year 2022 due partly to the rapid economic growth of the rest of the world.
Russian Ban on Pork & Beef Political, not Scientific
Russia issued an all-out ban of U.S. beef and pork products on Monday due to concerns of the feed additive ractopamine. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Baucus says the ban is more political than scientific…
“This isn’t about the safety of our product, its about an arbitrary guideline put in place by the Russian government. Until they choose to abide by international standards it will be tough. We need more objective standards in place for trade to flourish and we look forward to developing that market access into Russia.”
With Russia recently joining the World Trade Organization system – Baucus says it's important all of the international standards are followed – that rules are not violated and that market is restored as soon as possible – as it is very important for U.S. producers and Russian customers. Russia is a top U.S. market – totaling 500-million dollars annually for U.S. Beef and pork.
SC Farmers Invited to Listening Session on New Produce Rules
South Carolina farmers, growers, and producers interested in learning more about the proposed Fresh Produce Rule are invited to attend a listening and feedback session February 20 at the South Carolina Farm Bureau.
The proposed Fresh Produce Rule is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and is significant because it will bring major changes to our country’s food safety system. Session participants can share their thoughts and concerns with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and industry leaders.
SCDA encourages growers to attend this live web stream session. U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials will take part in a question and answer session with those in attendance. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is hosting the session.
Irrigation & Water Management Workshop Scheduled
The Richland, Calhoun, and Orangeburg Conservation Districts will host an Irrigation and Water Management Workshop on Thursday, March 14, at Tri-County Electric in St. Matthews from 9 am until 3 pm. Attendees will learn about irrigation scheduling, water quality and how it affects production and pesticide efficacy, agricultural water use regulations and reporting requirements, and NRCS technical and financial assistance for efficient irrigation and water management practices. The cost for the workshop is $10 and includes lunch. For more details or to register, visit our calendar.