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Annual SC Peanut Meeting Set

The annual South Carolina State Peanut Growers’ meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Santee Convention Center in Santee.

Scheduled speakers include Dell Cotton, executive director of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association; Bob Parker, executive director for the National Peanut Board; Tyron Spearman, editor of the Peanut Farm Market News; and Glenn Harris, extension fertility specialist for the University of Georgia.
Three grand door prizes, each worth an estimated $10,000, will be given out during the meeting.

Tobacco GAP Meetings Underway This Week

Cooperative Extension offices around the state are hosting a Tobacco Production and GAP meetings will continue in Wilson and Johnston Counties today. For a tobacco contract holder, attending at least one meeting this winter is required to maintain GAP certification in tobacco production. This certificate will be available at all meetings, some are also offering Pesticide credits. For more information on a meeting near you, visit

2014 Beltwide Cotton Conference Turns More Focus to Consultants

The 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conference wraps up Wednesday in New Orleans, Louisiana. National Cotton Council Event Coordinator Dr. Bill Robertson says this year’s attendance exceeded his expectations…

“I thought we would have between 1000-1100 people. We ended up with over 1300 registered attendees. We have had to add more chairs so that is always a good sign.”

Robertson says this year’s format for the conference is different from previous years because there’s no Production Conference for producers.

Smithfield Wants Group Housing at Contract Growing Operations

Smithfield Foods and its hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown LLC, is encouraging all of its contract sow growers to convert to group housing systems for pregnant sows by 2022, using a system of incentives geared toward early conversion.

In a news release, the company said the sliding scale of incentives to accelerate that timetable includes contract extensions when the conversion is complete. Most of Smithfield’s hogs are As of the end of last year, Murphy-Brown had already moved 54 percent of pregnant sows on its company-owned farms in the United States to group housing systems.'

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.