North Carolina has experienced six equine deaths thus far this summer to Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis. State Veterinarian David Marshal says a low-cost vaccination may have prevented those deaths. A seventh confirmed case appears to be recovering. Dr. Marshall recommends that equine owners talk to their veterinarians about an effective vaccination protocol to protect horses from EEE as well as West Nile Virus, another potentially life-threatening mosquito borne illness.
All of the reported cases have been in the southeastern part of the state – one each in Pender and Brunswick counties and five in Cumberland County. But Marshall cautions that it is important for horse owners across the state to remain on alert.
USDA to Survey South Carolina Small Grains Farmers
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend the first two weeks of September surveying thousands of farmers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to get a clear indication of the small grain production and grain stored on and off the farm. NASS will compile information collected across the country into publically accessible reports to ensure the confidentiality of individual farmer information.
Producers rely on the survey results to make production, marketing, and investment decisions. Congress utilizes the information to design better regulations and farm programs. Industry analysts, extension agents, farm organizations, and agricultural lenders use the data in a variety of ways to directly benefit the grower.
Farmers’ Market More than a Place to Get Food
This is National Farmers’ Market Week, and Pickett Slater Harrington, Executive Director of the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, discusses the communal connection of farmers markets.
“Not only do you get great products but there is a connection from farmers back to customers. At the markets we really have customers who appreciate us again. Its about community.”
EPA Finalizes 2013 RFS Standards
The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard program. The final overall volumes and standards require 16.55-billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply – a 9.74-percent blend. Specifically – the standard requires 1.28-billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, 2.75-billion gallons of advanced biofuels and six-million gallons of cellulosic biofuels. EPA says these standards reflect updated production projections.