In the last month or so, there’s been a flurry of news releases from food establishments that they are moving towards serving pork products where the open system for sow housing is used. Recently, Domino’s Pizza joined those ranks, in the opposite direction. They do not plan to make any changes to their meat procurement pipeline.

RC Hunt, pork producer from Wilson, NC and president of the National Pork Producers Council:

“What we have seen is they have gone about this decision the right way. They have the trust and confidence in the farmer to make that decision rather than noting some pressure from an activist group that has a different agenda.” 

Hunt feels that HSUS is just getting rolling:

“It’s amazing. HSUS is a fund raising machine. I wish that they could take their energy and capital and put it into what they advertise for, that being humane shelters for pets all across this country. As you know, very little of that money actually goes into those systems. And unfortunately, when you have a team of lawyers like this we probably haven’t seen the worst of it yet.”

RC Hunt, pork producer from Wilson, North Carolina and president of the National Pork Producers Council.


USDA Releases Expectations for Coming Crop Season

Independent Cotton Market Analyst Mike Stevens says the May USDA report that came out Thursday is one of the most widely watched because it’s the first look at USDA’s thoughts on the coming crop season for the U.S. and the world. Stevens reports USDA raised their cotton export figure from 11.4 to 12-million bales:

“They continue to think we are improving domestically, but unfortunately adding a bigger crop and selling more you are still not going to catch up. That raises US ending stocks to 4.9 million and they think that will forecast a price per pound of .65 to .85 cents per pound. "

Stevens says that brings the world ending stocks up to a record level of more than 73-million bales left at the end of the 2013 season.

Southern Representation Not Pleased with Senate Markup of the Farm Bill

The farm bill hasn’t even hit the Senate floor and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says big fights lie ahead in both the Senate and the House when and if the farm bill moves to the Senate floor. There’s no word yet as to when that will be – but Grassley says it will be open season for amendments:

“I will likely have to defend my payment limits. We want to cap marketing loan gains as well.”

Southern Senators bristled at Grassley’s 75-thousand payment limit for individuals – 150-thousand per couple – during Senate Ag consideration of the farm bill. A staffer for one southerner said the south is united against the Senate bill for its cuts that hurt peanuts and rice more than corn – and boost help to soybeans. 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.