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Farm Bill Likely After New Year

As negotiations over the fiscal cliff deal continue to be on again-off again – the farm bill has faded into the background. Former Ag Secretary John Block says there is a lot of uncertainty:

“I personally doubt if we get a farm bill until after the first of the year. But we will get one, we always have.”

He says the overriding issue is the debt. Block says it appears Congress is not taking it seriously:

“If you look at Europe, they are just barely treading water. I don’t think we are too far behind, unless we get our act together.”

Block says there are many in Washington who think that there will be no deal and the country will go over the fiscal cliff.

NC Farmer Places in Sorghum Yield Contest

2nd Laurence Wray Chappell of Perquimans County, NC finished 2nd nationally in the 2012 National Sorghum Producers Yield & Management Contest. Chappell was competing in the NO-TILL NON-IRRIGATED Category. Farmers from 22 states entered to win this year’s contest. Producer yields are highlighted in 11 different categories, including the new Double Crop Irrigated and Non-Irrigated categories, with this year’s top yield at 213.33 bushels per acre.

Grain's Council Looking Ahead

USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight says USGC staff around the world are ready and waiting for Congress to act on the cliff and the farm bill. The Council’s 53rd Annual meeting is coming up February 11th through the 13th in Charleston, South Carolina. Sleight says it will be an interesting meeting:

“it will be an internal meeting of planning and trying to prioritize our markets worldwide, our policy and bio tech activities. It will be kind of a family meeting as a lot of it will be internal and we are hopeful of having some headline speakers from the administration come in. It will be a time to reflect on a very challenging year for us and making plans to rev up and attack this global market.”

Registration for the meeting is open now at

China Back in Trade Talks with US

Upcoming trade talks with China were nearly postponed – but moved ahead as intended. U.S. officials are expected to again make the usual case for better market access. They’ll also be looking to better understand how the China’s new leadership plans to approach trade policy. While exports to China have grown drastically since China joined the World Trade Organization just over a decade ago – but the U.S. still runs a trade deficit with the country. 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.