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Excessive Rainfall makes Soil Sampling More Important than Ever

Rainfall in most of North Carolina has been at record high levels from early spring through summer, with some areas receiving more than 30 inches. As a result, most crops have struggled due to poorly developed root systems. Agronomists warn that the growth of upcoming crops is also likely to be affected unless soil-nutrient reserves are monitored and replenished.

Dr. David Hardy, chief of the Soil Testing Section with the N.C. Department of Agriculture, and Dr. Carl Crozier, soil science professor and extension specialist at N.C. State University, urge growers to be particularly vigilant about soil sampling this summer and fall.

Another fertility issue to consider is soil acidity. In North Carolina, factors such as weather and the leaching of nutrients make soils naturally acidic. Soil pH and lime recommendations are two of the most important items of information provided on a soil-test report. Growers planning to plant small grains this fall are especially urged to sample ahead of that crop.

Beginning this fall, a peak-season fee of $4 per sample will be charged for all soil samples processed from Nov. 28 through March 31. From April until the Thanksgiving holidays, no fee will be imposed. For more information on fee schedule and procedures for submitting soil samples, visit our website, SFNToday .com.

SC Governor & Ag Commissioner to Tour Water-logged Fields

Governor Nikki Haley will join Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers and other state agricultural leaders later this morning for a tour of farm land damaged by excessive summer rains. Much of the state has been impacted by above normal rainfall. As a result, many farmers are dealing with damaged acres and crop losses.

The tour will include an update on the State’s efforts to seek a Secretarial Disaster Designation from the USDA, for South Carolina. The tour gets underway at 10:30 this morning at Pendarvis Farms near Harleyville.

Ag Secretary Visits Tar Heel State

Late last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made two stops in eastern North Carolina, one at a school and the other at a paper products company.

Vilsack met with students and faculty at the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience in Plymouth. He toured the school facilities and discuss the future of American agriculture with students.

Later, Vilsack visited a Domtar, Inc. facility that produces lignin, a biobased material with the potential to create advanced new products and energy.

Organic Consumers Petition FDA on GM-Products Labeled ‘Natural’

The Organic Consumers Association has launched a petition for the Food and Drug Administration to ban producers of genetically modified foods from being able to label their products as natural. Association Director Ronnie Cummins says the FDA has for far too long dodged its responsibility to define natural as it applies to food products. The FDA hasn’t developed a legal definition for a natural food – and its website says FDA has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.

EPA Changing Pesticide Labels to Further Protect Bees, Pollinators

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit the use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. The new labels will include a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Visit SFNToday dot com for a link to the EPA information page.
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