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Beltwide Cotton Conference Ends a 58-year Run

After 58-years – the Beltwide Cotton Production Conference is saying goodbye. Conference Planning Committee Chairman Kenneth Hood says the Beltwide is near and dear to his heart. He says there have been many changes over the years to the Beltwide – and the cotton industry.

Hood says producer attendance at the Beltwide has declined from a high of 770 in 1997 to just over 200 the last few years. So – beginning in 2014 – the National Cotton Council will continue to plan and operate the annual day-and-a-half technical conference. The consultants conference will also continue – complementing the technical conference. The Beltwide wrapped up yesterday in San Antonio.

Agriculture’s Challenges in Washington far from Over

The 113th congress has convened, and there’s been an extension for the farm bill, but, some would argue the real work has yet to begin. National Cotton Council President Mark Lange outlined the uphill challenge House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas faces:

“One of the things that we are going to face right now is as soon as Chairman Lucas is able to convene he has 13 new members, members who have never dealt with ag policy before. A lot of education has to be done.”

Lange says the process of educating new Ag Committee members is made just that much more difficult by promises made that are hard to keep:

“they may have taken some pledges, especially some of the tea party folks about where they were going to be and what cuts they thought there ought to be and then all of a sudden they find those things are actually difficult when you start to learn about the programs that are involved.”

Mark Lange, National Cotton Council president from the Beltwide Cotton Conference that concluded yesterday in San Antonio.

Fatal work-related farm accidents are up in Virginia.

The Virginia Farm Bureau says 10 people were killed in 2012, up from seven the previous year.
The bureau's unofficial figures show four deaths resulted from tractor runovers; three people were killed in unspecified tractor or equipment incidents, and the other deaths resulted from a tractor overturn, an all-terrain vehicle accident and an animal-related incident.
Farm bureau safety manager Jimmy Maass says increasing the number of farmers who make tractor and equipment safety a priority will help reduce the fatalities.

2013 Marsh Tacky Races Moved to Smaller SC Island

The marsh tacky horse races held on Hilton Head Island each spring are being moved to nearby Daufuskie Island.
Coastal Discovery Museum CEO Michael Marks says the races have become too large and thousands of spectators so close to the 1,200-pound horses are a safety risk. The Daufuskie event is expected to be smaller because the only way to the island is by boat.
The horses date to early Spanish explorers and were long used for hunting and farming on the sea islands. This year's races will be April 27. 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.