Tuesday will be livestock’s day to shine at North Carolina’s general Assembly in downtown Raleigh. NCDA Dairy Marketing Specialist Steve Lathrop:
“It’s a cooperative event with the NC Pork Council, NC Cattleman’s Association, NC Dairy Producer’s Association and Coop Council Dairy Promotions committee of NC. We are very pleased."
The day’s event includes breakfast sandwiches furnished by the North Carolina Pork Council, roast beef sandwiches furnished by the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, an ice cream social hosted by the NC Dairy Industry Promotion Committee, and the annual milk chugging contest between the Senate Super Sippers and the House All Stars. The events are all in good fun to promote the state’s livestock industries.
Cloture Passes – Farm Bill Negotiations Begin
U.S. Senate voted for cloture last week, getting the ball rolling on Farm Bill negotiations. As it stands the bill represents significant reform of American agricultural policy. By ending direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, the SURE program and the ACRE program, the bill achieves billions in savings while strengthening responsible, market-based risk management tools that prevent farmers – and farm jobs — from being wiped out because of weather disaster or market volatility.
NC Tobacco Growers Cautiously Optimistic
NC State Extension Tobacco Specialist Loren Fisher says the crop has been in the ground about eight weeks in the Coastal Plain, and about two weeks less further inland, and this year is getting off to a much different start than the last couple, making growers cautiously optimistic:
“They are anxiously excited to see where the crop is right now versus where it has been the past few years. They have good hope for a good crop.”
Last year’s tobacco was stunted due to drought, and cut later than normal, which made it susceptible to the wiles of Hurricane Irene which finished off what was left in the fields when the storm came ashore in late August of 2011.
Smaller Acreage Growing More Tobacco
The Tobacco Transition Act of 2004 ended a 66-year-old federal farm program that limited the amount of tobacco that could be grown. Since then, over a 10-year period, the number of farms growing tobacco declined from just over 40-thousand to just over 85-hundred – but productivity increased by 44 percent.
50-Year Study Shows Progress
A new study finds that while pig farms of the 1950s may be remembered as idyllic, they were not as sustainable as those of today. The study shows that during the last 50 years there has been a 35 percent decrease in carbon footprint, a 41 percent reduction in water usage and a 78 percent drop in land needed to produce a pound of pork. Garth Boyd, an environmental researcher and former university professor, led the study.