David Murdock Creates Research Fund for Kannapolis Research Station

The 90-year-old head of Dole Food Company Inc. is creating a permanent fund to sustain the operations of a North Carolina food, agriculture and health research institute which bears his name.

David Murdock will keep money flowing to the self-named research institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Murdock has pumped $600 million into the biotechnology hub and the David H. Murdock Research Institute based there. Scientists are looking for new cancer treatments and preventions based on natural compounds and healthier varieties of fruits and vegetables.

South Carolina Agribusinesses Awarded over $700,000 in Grants

Four South Carolina agri-businesses have been awarded value-added grants from USDA. Delle Valle Fresh Inc. in Woodruff has been awarded $300,000, as well as Clark Forest Farms. Landsdowne Dairy in Bowman has been awarded $100,000, and Forest Fruit Company has been awarded $98,000. 

Why Customs Inspectors are a Good Thing

 Officials at the Port of Charleston have intercepted a dangerous intruder.  Customs officials say they found what is known as the big-headed ant and other insects in a container of aluminum scrap metal on a ship from Costa Rica. 

Steve Switzer with the customs office in Charleston says the ant eats native plants and other insects. It has been known to eat irrigation pipes, telephone cables and electrical wires. 

Customs and Border Patrol agriculture specialists sent more than 10 insect specimens from the ship to a USDA entomologist, and one of the insects was identified last week as the "big-headed ant."

NC Estate Tax Could be on its Way Out

North Carolina's tax on a deceased person's financial assets would be repealed in legislation approved by House members who say the estate tax hurts family-owned farms. 

The chamber gave tentative approval Tuesday to legislation ending the estate tax, which this year applies to estates that roughly exceed a little over $5 million. It's higher for couples. 

The 83-36 vote followed debate on whether the bill would help farmers trying to keep operations in the family when they die or just extremely wealthy people.

Still Time to Vote for America’s Farmers Mom 

And don’t forget, there’s still time to cast your vote in America’s Farmers Mom contest…Betty Rosson of Louisa, Virginia is the southeast regional finalist, along with four other women from across the country. To vote in America’s Farmers Mom contest visit www.Americasfarmers.com by Saturday, May 11th.


SFNToday.com 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. SFNToday.com presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.