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EPA Approves Grain Sorghum Use in Biofuels Production

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday the approval of grain sorghum for feedstock under the Renewable Fuels Standard. National Sorghum Producers Director of External Affairs Lindsay Kennedy says this announcement means ethanol plants will have the opportunity to qualify with EPA to use grain sorghum to produce advanced biofuels. Kennedy says this is huge for producers…

“When these ethanol plants qualify in order to use grain sorghum as an advanced biofuels feedstock, it adds value and profitability for the producer. There will be an incentive for ethanol plants to use grain sorghum, to create and produce biofuel. So in the long run that plays out well for the producer.”

NSP has worked with the EPA for nearly three-years to establish a biofuels pathway for grain sorghum-based ethanol in the RFS. Kennedy says this is a big win for grain sorghum because as an advanced biofuel – it is labeled as a sustainable crop with a smaller carbon footprint than other feedstocks. North Carolina producers increased sorghum production from about 17,000 acres in 2011 to more than 65,000 in 2012.

South Carolina Soybean Bids Jump

In South Carolina markets on Wednesday 2 Yellow Corn was mostly 6 to 7 cents higher; one location steady, 1 Yellow Soybeans were 23 to 25 cents higher, 2 Red Wheat was steady to 7 cents higher. New Crop 1 Yellow Corn had too few bids to trend, and New Crop 2 Red Wheat was 3 to 4 cents higher.

Annual NC Tobacco Day Today

The annual Tobacco Day gets underway this morning at the Johnston County Extension Center outside of Smithfield. For complete coverage of today’s annual half-day event, click here.

Farm Policy in 2013 Could Look a Great Deal Different

2013 could be a watershed year for farm policy – with the now likely absence of a new farm bill – or maybe even an extension of now lapsed 2008 farm law. There’s a deepening concern among farm leaders in D.C. that House GOP Leaders don’t like and don’t plan to do a farm bill or an extension. And now – with increasing talk of going off the fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes in January – some ag lobbyists are starting to wonder of 2013 may see a historic shift away from farm bills altogether. National Farmers Union’s Chandler Goule…

“Producers are asking for a five year bill and we have promises from Leader that the farm bill will be taken up and dealt with in the lame duck. Now you see them backing off that. There is a true significant concern.”

Gifts of Food More Popular this Year than Last

We all have them…the hard to buy for on our Christmas list. Kathy Grannis with the National Retail Federation says more people are giving grocery store and gas station gift cards this season.

“This year about 12.6% of people said they will buy gift cards to grocery and gas stores, and that is up from 11.9% last year. That does speak volumes to the fact that people will be buying practical gifts this year.”

Top Restaurant Trends Predicted for 2013 Could be Great for Farmers

Prognostications for trends in 2013 are underway, and the restaurant industry is no exception…and for once, the top four are really good news for farmers. The National Restaurant Association is predicting, after a survey of 1,800 members, that locally sourced meats and seafoods will be the number one hot restaurant trend in 2013, along with locally grown produce, healthful kids’ meals with environmental sustainability as a culinary theme rounding out the top four. 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.