Amendment to the SC Food & Cosmetic Act Benefits SC Honey Producers

South Carolina lawmakers recently clarified some legislation that made hobbyist beekeepers very happy. SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers:

“Well over 90% of those keeping bees are just doing it as a hobby, possibly selling out of their home, but not running a business from it. This law acknowledges that and gives an exemption to those who don’t sell over four hundred gallons per year, or forty eight hundred pounds based on weight.” 

Alleviating a great deal of expensive licensing and paperwork just to support a hobby. Weathers says there are some restrictions, though:

“They must only sell directly from their own farm house or road side market directly to the consumer and not wholesales.” 

Weathers says that beekeepers that do sell their product as a hobbyist still must file certain paperwork attesting to that fact with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Food Companies Poised to Profit as Farmers Rebound

The world's farmers are poised for a year of plenty in 2012 after last year's weather-related disasters, and prospects of lower grain prices from bumper harvests could offer relief to the battered bottom lines of grain and food companies.

Food and beverage companies like Sara Lee (SLE.N), PepsiCo (PEP.N) and General Mills (GIS.N) have struggled to absorb high costs of meat and grains in the past year, while economic uncertainty has hammered agribusiness giants.

While weather worries persist in some areas — notably droughts affecting crops in South America and the southern U.S. Plains — expanded global farm production looks to take the sting out of farm prices for food makers by late 2012.

The End May Be Near for Higher Gas Prices

Oil prices were lower yesterday after trade numbers from China suggested a weakening global economy. But that hasn't stopped the price of gasoline from reaching an average of $3.80 a gallon, according to AAA, after jumping by nearly a nickel over the weekend. Oil analyst Jim Ritterbusch forecasts another month of rising gas prices (to about $4 nationally) before they begin to decline.

“Through the second and third quarters, extending all the way out to the fall, we will see a declining gasoline pricing environment.”

USDA Proposes BSE Rules

USDA will publish in the Federal Register a comprehensive rule for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus says this has been a long time coming. USDA, along with National Cattlemen’s has been working to have the US risk status reduced, which has damaged exports, especially to Asian nations, since the cow that stole Christmas in 2003.

Orange Crop Up One Percent

USDA reports the U.S. all orange forecast for the 2011-2012 season is 9.0 million tons, up 1 percent from the previous forecast and up 2 percent from the 2010-2011 final utilization. The Florida all orange forecast, at 147 million boxes, is up 1 percent from the February forecast and up 5 percent from last season’s final utilization. Early, midseason, and Navel varieties in Florida are forecast at 74.0 million boxes. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 73.0 million boxes, unchanged from the February forecast. Sizes for Valencia oranges in Florida are expected to be about average.

Today's Farm Fact;

The most profitable side of the food business is in processing and marketing, not the farmer’s share. In fact, for every dollar that consumers spend on food, farmers receive just 20 cents. 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.