Bayer CropScience Launches Young Farmer Sustainability Award

Bayer CropSciece has launched its fourth annual Young Farmer Sustainability Award, and we are hoping you can help us spread the word within your network. This award recognizes a grower 40 years or under that demonstrates sustainability on his or her farm. The 2014 award will be selected by a group of industry experts and Bayer leaders, and will be awarded in February at the 2014 Ag Issues Forum held in conjunction with Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. The application deadline is January 17, 2014. For more information and link to download the application, click here

Wind Generation Experiment Facility Dedicated in South Carolina

The Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman recently joined with officials from Clemson University to dedicate the nation’s largest and one of the world’s most advanced wind energy testing facilities in North Charleston, S.C. Led by Clemson University’s Restoration Institute, the facility will help test and validate new turbines, particularly for offshore wind – helping to speed deployment of next generation energy technology, reduce costs for manufacturers and boost global competitiveness for American companies. Located at a former Navy warehouse with easy access to rail and water transport, the Clemson facility will test machinery that converts both onshore and offshore wind to electricity and allow engineers to simulate 20 years’ worth of wear and tear on drivetrains in a few months.

Pork Supplies Could be Tight Through the End of the Year

Even as U.S. pork slaughter schedules are expected to increase seasonally during the quarter, tight supplies of hogs may temper the size of slaughter during November and December, according to USDA.

Fourth-quarter 2013 pork production is forecast at 6.23 billion pounds, down fractionally from 2012 and a reduction from the September forecast.
The reduction reflects a lower than expected pace of slaughter, which was well below projections in October as packers reduced Saturday slaughters during the month.

Cotton, Peanut and Rice Farmers Say It’s Time for Congress to Finish the Farm Bill

The National Cotton Council, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and USA Rice Federation have reiterated their opposition to extending current farm law – calling an extension an unacceptable alternative. While the groups recognize the process of compromise is challenging and many policy differences are deeply held – they say it is imperative for the Farm Bill Conference Committee to make the tough decisions and complete work on legislation as soon as possible. According to the three groups – the nation’s farmers and rural communities need certainty to make long term investments to remain competitive.

Shuanghui Secures Additional Funding

Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong-based company that completed its acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc., in September, has entered into an $8 billion “non-binding strategic cooperation framework agreement” with the Bank of China.

The agreement gives Shuanghui, a global investment consortium with ownership or a major stake in two of the world’s largest pork producers, and its subsidiaries “the flexibility to utilize the proposed services and new funding arrangements to invest in operations, fixed assets, international trade initiatives, potential mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate purposes.”

Shuanghui International’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield was financed by $7 billion in loans from the Bank of China and Morgan Stanley. 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.