var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-16049511-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Ag Secretary Vilsack Attends Biofuel Center of NC Event

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina in Oxford dedicated their campus, the Biofuels Company Accelerator and the Oxford Biodiesel Plant yesterday with a look back at the four years since the Center was chartered by the General Assembly. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack was on hand for the event:

“Let me start by suggesting that what you are doing here is not just important for North Carolina, but it is extremely important for the entire country.”

Vilsack and the Obama administration feel strongly that next generation biofuel research and production will be an integral part in keeping rural America healthy for generations to come:

“The more local markets, the more opportunities that we create, the easier it will be for young people to get the credit and stay on the farm or get into farming.”


Chicago Analyst Reacts to CME Group Extended Hours

CME Group has announced the expansion of electronic trading hours for CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options beginning Monday – May 14th.The move will expand market access to 22 hours per day when the electronic trade begins at six-P-M Chicago time and concludes at 4:00 pm the next day. The extended trading hours addresses competition coming from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). While the announcement does not address daily settlement, it’s assumed that settlement will continue at the conclusion of open outcry trading at 1:15 pm Central Time.

April Retail Sales Number Disappointing

Many retailers say sales were down last month. Costco, Macy's and Target all say sales were lower than expected. Retail analyst Ken Perkins:

“Generally speaking, the numbers were soft. We wouldn’t read too much into them because of the calendar noise and Easter shift, but I think you could categorize them as being a little disappointing.”

NC Apples Sustain Frost Damage

North Carolina grown apples may be harder to come by at your favorite farmers’ market this fall. Losses of up to 50% have been reported in Henderson County after temperatures dropped to 24 degrees on April 10th. The record-setting March warmth encouraged apple trees to bloom early, leaving them susceptible to late-season frost.

Henderson County is the state's top apple-producing county, with 5,000 acres in orchards with the crop valued at around $24 million. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.