Arbor Day Photo Contest Accepting Entries

The N.C. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is accepting entries for its 2014 Arbor Day Photo Contest through Feb. 28.
The contest is open to North Carolina students in fifth through 12th grades, including public, private and home schools.

The theme is “Young and Old.”

The competition will be divided into fifth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades. A panel of judges will select a winner from each division and one grand prize winner. Honorable mentions may also be awarded.

Winners of each division will receive $50 and a tree to plant on their school grounds. The grand prize winner will receive $150, a tree to plant at school and a framed reproduction of the winning photo.

Entry forms and a list of submission requirements can be found under the Urban and Community Forestry link on the N.C. Forest Service website at

Farm – City Week Events

Marlboro County has a day of activities planned for national Farm-City week next week. Beginning at 8:00 am Wednesday at the Bennettsville Community Center several farm and industry tours will be available, including McArthur Farms. The tours will wrap up around 12:45 with a luncheon at the Bennetsville Community Center. The lunch is open to the public and guest speaker is scheduled to be Jack Shuler, Director of the Palmetto AgriBusiness Council. No RSVP is necessary.

EPA Proposes Reduced RFS

The EPA has proposed a reduction in the Renewable Fuel Standard for biodiesel and advanced biofuels in 2014. EPA has proposed to keep 2014 biodiesel RFS volumes at 1.28-billion gallons – versus the industry’s expected 1.7-billion gallon current year record production. EPA proposed an overall advanced biofuel level of 2.2-billion gallons – and lowered conventional renewable fuel to 13-billion gallons – versus 13.8-billion expected this year.

The news drew disappointment from the National Biodiesel Board and Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow charged the plan would pull the rug out from underneath a growing American-made energy sector. The news came after 32 Senators – including Stabenow – asked the Administration to write an RFS rule that keeps the current-year biodiesel figure of 1.7-billion gallons. Longtime biofuels ally Chuck Grassley of Iowa helped lead the letter to the heads of EPA, USDA and the White House Budget Office…

“The Renewable Fuels Standard was designed to be flexible. We wrote into the law the ability for the agency to take into account time when advanced fuels would be delayed in the arrival of the commercial market.”

Grassley says those fuels are expected to come on the commercial market next year.

Look for Immigration Reform Next Year

The National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said Friday the House would likely pass immigration reform legislation by the end of next year. Walden says Speaker John Boehner has said multiple times this is a federal problem – as has Walden. He says action is just a matter of timing – and with everything else left to be done – there’s just no time for immigration this year. 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.