SC Peaches in the Bag

Clemson University researchers are opening the door for organic, chemical-free peach production in the Southeast.

Extension specialists Juan Carlos Melgar and Guido Schnabel are tying bags on peaches as they grow on trees, an unconventional method of protecting them from insects and disease while reducing reliance on pesticides. The bags also present an answer to fungicide resistance, a costly problem in which diseases adapt to pesticides, rendering them ineffective. Additionally, bagging peaches may limit skin disorders caused by pesticide residue, acid rain or heat stress. This would reduce post-harvest waste and increase growers’ numbers of marketable peaches.

The growing method is untested in the Southeast — until now — but is done occasionally in Europe and Asia.

NC Farm Receives REAP Funding

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). These REAP projects are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy – enough to power more than 13,600 homes for a year. In North Carolina, South Winston Farm, LLC is receiving a $4 million loan guarantee to finance a 7 megawatt solar array system that is expected to generate enough energy to power 994 households per year.

Funding for the projects is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.

Cotton Board Hosting Second Annual Calendar Photo Contest

The cotton Board wants to see your best cotton photos.  One winning photo will be selected and featured in The Cotton Board’s 2016 Industry Calendar.  To be eligible to win, contestants must first ‘like’ The Cotton Board Facebook page, and then email up to three high-res jpeg photos by September 30th to  the cotton Board Calendar has become an industry staple and is directly mailed to every cotton producer and ginner in the US.  The winner will have their photo, along with photo credit, featured in the 2016 calendar, as well as a prize pack including 25 copies of the calendar to share with friends and family.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.