The United States Department of Labor will be presenting information important to farmers and growers on compliance with labor rules and regulations. The meeting is set for May 14th at the Phillips Market Center on the State Farmers’ Market in Columbia. The meeting is open to all growers, labor industry professionals and agribusiness industry representatives, and will include a Q&A session.
NC Governor Proclaims May as Beef Month
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed May as Beef Month in the state. McCrory’s proclamation quotes the 2012 NC Ag Statistics book, released by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, as the state having more than 800,000 cattle, providing a variety of food, leather and other products to the citizens of this state.
Wet Weather Predicted for the Eastern US Next Week
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey with the national weather forecast for May 7th through the 13th.
“We will still be dealing with the lingering impacts of that slow moving storm which eventually should drift off to the east. We will expect wet weather and temperatures will be below normal.”
Prodded by the largest U.S. hummus maker, Sabra, farmers in Virginia are trying to grow chickpeas, an improbable move that reflects booming demand for hummus. Long a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, hummus is earning a growing following among Americans seeking more-healthful snacks.
Sabra makes hummus at a plant near Richmond, VA and they are looking for a secondary source of supplies that could help protect the company if a chickpea shortage occurred because of crop failures in the Pacific Northwest. Sourcing chickpeas locally also would lower shipping costs.
But, the Virginia effort carries risk, because experts say the state's high summer humidity could prove a significant obstacle to its viability.
The chickpea dip is low in fat and high in protein. Sales of "refrigerated flavored spreads"—a segment dominated by hummus—totaled $530 million at U.S. food retailers last year.
Current CSP Signup Deadline May 31st
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year. Vilsack explained that although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year's funding.
The voluntary program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations.