Furloughs at NC Meat Packing Houses Averted for Now
N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says a potential slowdown of meat inspections at the state's slaughterhouses due to across-the-board federal spending cuts has been averted for now.
Troxler said Tuesday a government spending bill approved by Congress and signed by President Obama last week included funds that avoids beef and poultry inspector furloughs threatened by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Troxler said last month fewer inspectors could have meant farmers holding on to livestock longer, possibly leading to higher meat prices.
Inspectors must be at plants when slaughters and some packaging occur.
Cool, Wet March Holding South Carolina Crops Back
In the first crop progress report for South Carolina, Clemson University reports that crop planting for the Palmetto State was well behind normal for this time of year due primarily to cold weather yielding several late frosts and freezes. There was adequate or better soil moisture for most of the State with ratings at 5% short, 75% adequate, and 20% surplus. There was an average of 4.4 days across the State that were suitable for fieldwork. Cool wet weather hindered early corn planting. Planting was 22% complete, compared to 50% in 2012, 34% for the five-year average. Tobacco transplantings have just begin at 3%, compared to 8% last year, and 4% for the five-year average. Winter wheat was 3% headed, compared to 27% last year, and 7% for the five-year average. Conditions were 2% poor, 34% fair, 61% good, and 3% excellent.
For more on the regions crop reports click here.
NC Pesticide Board Seeking to Fill Vacancies
The N.C. Pesticide Board, which oversees pesticide regulations in the state, is seeking a conservationist and a practicing farmer to fill two vacancies on its Pesticide Advisory Committee.
The 20-member committee advises board members and the commissioner of agriculture on matters related to N.C. Pesticide Law. For more information or questions about the committee, or application process contact Jim Burnette at 919-733-3556.
Gypsy Moth Treatment Scheduled
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will soon treat gypsy moth infestations in Granville and Warren counties.
The treatments are anticipated to occur between April 5 and April 25, depending on weather conditions and insect development. Two fine-mist applications of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, or Bt(k), will be made four to 10 days apart. Treatments will be accomplished using low-flying helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.
The proposed 922-acre treatment block in north-central Granville County is located about 15 miles from Stovall. The block is primarily rural, dominated by large expanses of uninhabited woodlands, but also contains some farm fields in cultivation. The proposed 1,285-acre treatment block in Warren County is located about 10 miles southeast of Warrenton. Field monitoring activities conducted by NCDA&CS last year determined that a reproducing population of the highly destructive gypsy moth exists in both counties and represents a threat to hardwood trees.