Cool, Wet Temperatures Doing a Number on Grain Sorghum

Many producers in the Carolinas are trying grain sorghum this year in response to pork producer Murphy-Brown’s call to substitute high priced corn for sorghum. Sorghum loves hot, dry weather, something that the Carolinas have seen little of this spring, and NC State Extension specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger says slow-growing, yellow fields of the grain are making his phone ring:

“The crop’s coming up, it’s pale, yellowish. I’m getting calls all the time…’what in the world is wrong with my sorghum?’”

And Heiniger’s advice to those producers that have fertilized well:

“I can tell growers, give it a little time, surely these temperatures are going to warm up here, and once we do get a little roots under it, those plants will take off and that color is going to change.”

For more from Dr. Heiniger on this year’s fledgling sorghum crop, visit our website,

Savannah River Project Needs Permit Now, Not Later

Conservation groups in two states say the Army Corps of Engineers needs a South Carolina pollution permit now, not later, for the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel.
The lawsuit alleges a South Carolina pollution permit is needed because deepening the shipping channel will dredge up toxic cadmium. It contends the material will be dumped on the South Carolina side of the river.

Fed Works to Spur Borrowing & Spending

The Federal Reserve is extending through December a program designed to drive down long-term interest rates to spur borrowing and spending. Under the so-called Operation Twist program the Fed will sell an additional $267 billion in short-term Treasurys and buy longer-term Treasurys. It's not clear how much benefit the program will produce as long-term U.S. rates have already touched record lows. Greg McBride is senior financial analyst with Bankrate-dot-com.

“Extending Operation Twist, I see it as largely a symbolic move, the Fed just didn’t have the luxury of letting that program sunset, with all the concerns that are out there. But, the impact will be marginal at best.”

ASA Stands Up for National Soy Checkoff

The American Soybean Association strongly opposes an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill that would make checkoff programs voluntary. The amendment was proposed by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. ASA President Steve Wellman says ASA will work to defeat any effort that would weaken checkoff programs…

6-20 DeMint 1 :10 …”country’s economy.”
“Farmers implemented the program, they fund the programs and have seen the results that have not only benefited farmers but the ag industry and our country’s economy.”

Gestation Stall-Free List Grows Again

According to the Humane Society of the United States – Sonic Drive-In has announced its intention to only accept pork products from suppliers that do not use gestation-sow stalls by the year 2022. Sonic is just the latest in a growing list of restaurants and retail chains to state similar objectives. The National Pork Producers Council has voiced concern with this growing trend – stating that retailers are succumbing to pressure from groups like HSUS without considering the impact on American farm families, or the price of the products they serve.

NPPC President R.C. Hunt – a North Carolina pork producer – says the food companies haven’t thought through the complexities, logistics or implications of their requests, explaining further that these forced changes on producers’ choice of sow housing could put hog farmers out of business and will certainly increase the price of pork for consumers. 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.