Not many states can say they have an agricultural research station that’s 100 years old, but in North Carolina there’s five, two of which are celebrating that centennial birthday this year. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler:
“It’s an amazing milestone when you think about how long we have been doing agricultural research in North Carolina. We are going to celebrate the Oxford Research Station having their 100th anniversary and also the Tidewater Research Station in Plymouth.”
The Tar Heel State has a little different set up when it comes to ownership and management of agricultural stations, most are partnerships according to Troxler:
“We partner with NC State University and A&T State University and its brought a lot of positive change in agriculture in North Carolina.”
The Oxford station was the original tobacco research station but with the tobacco quota buyout and the subsequent decrease in tobacco acreage, five years ago the facility became the North Carolina Biofuels Center. Other centarians are Piedmont Station in Salisbury, founded in 1904, and Mountain Research Station in Waynesville is 104 years old, the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station in Rocky Mount is the oldest in the state, founded in 1902.
Farm Bill Now Rally Happens Wednesday
Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow will join more than 60 members of the Farm Bill Now coalition on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the Farm Bill Now rally. The rally will unite the diverse and rapidly-growing coalition on the national stage just after Congress returns from the August recess for a short eight day working period. The idea is to encourage passage of a farm bill before the programs established in the 2008 bill begin to expire at the end of the month.
USDA’s Latest Round of Reports Comes Out Wednesday
USDA’s latest round of reports will be released at 7:30 eastern time on Wednesday, and USDA Ag Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange:
“We are still anxious to see what the numbers are.”
The National Ag Statistics Service delivers the numbers to the Ag Outlook folks in the wee morning hours, then the numbers are crunched almost until report time.
Bange explains that more than US production is looked at when future prices are calculated:
“We are also looking at what is happening in places like the Black Sea region. We know there are some issues in the Ukraine and Russia. So we have to assess everything and see what the implications are for the crops there and what the impact will be on the outlook here.”
Check our home page to look at those reports.
Five Virginia Farmers’ Markets Receive Acclaim
Five farmers' markets in Virginia get high marks in a national contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says three farmers’ markets were ranked in the Top 5 in their categories. The other two were ranked in the Top 20. Lakeside Farmers' Market in Richmond was ranked second among mid-sized markets, Williamsburg Farmers' Market was ranked third and Falls Church Farmers' Market was ranked fourth among medium markets.
Food Price Increase Projections by Food Institute
The impact of this summer’s drought in the Midwest is likely to hit consumers in 2013, raising the year’s grocery bill for a family of four by $351.12.
The projections by the Food Institute average to about $6.75 per week, only slightly higher than the 2.5% to 3.5% estimated by the USDA. The Food Institute says food-at-home spending will be about $4 higher per week and away-from-home spending will increase by $2.50 per week.
Higher grocery bills will be most notable in the meat section where a family of four can expect to pay $44 more in 2013 than this year. Produce is another leading category where the bill is expected to rise by $23.44 next year.