Food Processing Big Biz in NC

An extension of North Carolina agriculture, food processing and retailing has become big business to the state’s agricultural revenue bottom line. NC Ag commissioner Steve Troxler: 

“Well you know, it’s $70 billion and that includes the processed food products that we do make out of our agricultural products.”

North Carolina Department of Agriculture is offering a one-day seminar to coach would-be entrepreneurs coming up in May:

“The May 8th conference is going to feature seminars and panel discussions that are going to be led by food entrepreneurs and our Department’s marketing specialist. Topics include; building your brand, international marketing on a zero budget, protecting your assets, using smart phones and QR codes to get and keep customers and giving effective presentations and in-store tastings.”

“For more information or a registration form, go to, or call the food business specialist, Annette Dunlap at (919) 707-3117.

The seminar will be held at the Alamance County Cooperative Extension office in Burlington.

Good Use for a Landfill…Wind Generation

The Augusta County, South Carolina Regional Landfill could become a wind power site if a company's proposal to place turbines there is approved. Charlottesville-based Apex LLC wants to place 20 to 30 wind turbines on and around the landfill.

Burger Chains Scramble for Second Place

Wendy's topped Burger King in U.S. sales volume for the first time last year since Wendy's was founded in 1969. Wendy's had sales of $8.5-billion in 2011, compared with $8.4-billion for Burger King. Worldwide, Burger King still has far more restaurants than Wendy's and remains the second biggest hamburger chain behind McDonald's. Scott Rothbort, retail analyst and founder of Lakeview Asset Management on what the numbers mean:

“Wendy’s seems to be generating more revenues per business unit, which means that Wendy’s units are a bit more efficient in terms of their ability to attract diners and turn them over.”

Both Burger King and Wendy's have struggled in recent years to keep up with the growth of McDonald's, which has managed to keep prices low through the recession, while also introducing a new menu items and remodeling restaurants.

Lawmakers Say Unscientific-Based Restrictions for U.S. Meat Unfair

House lawmakers recently wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk about Taiwan’s restrictions on American pork and beef treated with ractopamine. Representative Denny Rehberg of Montana says the Taiwanese government is using pseudo-science to duck free-trade laws – unfairly penalizing U.S. producers. Increased inspections of U.S. meat by the Taiwanese government has caused sales to decline – costing American ranchers and hog farmers millions of dollars – according to the lawmakers.

Mexican Drought May Increase Demand for U.S. Feed Grains

Mexico is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years – according to Mexico Rural Development Under Secretary Ignacia Rivera – who predicts it will lower corn production to 780-million bushels – compared to 830-million bushels in the 2010-2011 year. Mexico already is the second-largest customer for U.S. feed grain exports and a leading buyer of DDGS – and current grain shortages could push Mexico’s imports of above 374-million bushes and sorghum above 118-million bushels. Crop losses most likely will create more demand for U.S. exports – but livestock losses due to the drought could potentially offset those losses. Already 60-thousand cattle have died.

Today’s Farm Fact:

Over the life of the 2008 farm bill, total conservation spending increased from $3.7 billion in 2008, to $7.15 billion in 2021, more than the amount for traditional farm policies. 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.