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Grain Sorghum Meetings Attracting Great Interest

Murphy Brown LLC has been hosting a series of meetings across the state this winter to introduce producers to grain sorghum. Up until two years ago, growing grain sorghum in the Carolinas was rare, but what with the price of corn for feed, particularly for hogs and poultry, it’s getting a much closer look. Don Nicholson, regional agronomist for NCDA based in Sanford recently hosted one of these meetings, and says that producer interest has passed the curiosity stage:

“I think people are serious. I mean there are several driving points behind the interest in grain sorghum. One is the great need for local grain for the animal integrators like Murphy Brown, Prestige, Goldsboro Milling, and others, but those are the major players in my region.”

Murphy Brown, the production arm of Smithfield Foods, has said they’d like to contract at least 20,000 acres of grain sorghum in the 2012 growing season. But, Nicholson cautions growers to have a selling point for the grain before putting acres into grain sorghum.

Cooler Weather for the Weekend

We might finally get to wear a winter coat at least once this year, and that chance is this weekend. Kathleen Carroll, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh:

“Yeah, it looks like we’re in for a little bit of a cool down this weekend, with Sunday being the coolest, just making it into the 40s…low 40s at that.”

As for over night lows… “For Saturday night into Sunday looks like mid-20s and then Sunday night looks like about the same thing; mid-20s.”
But don’t despair, Monday will begin a warm up into next week, and no measurable moisture into next week.

Deficit has to be dealt With Regardless of Economic Recovery

Regardless of how the economy recovers the U.S. faces a huge long term deficit problem that has to be dealt with over the coming years.  Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke:

“Unfortunately, even after economic conditions have returned to normal, the nation will still face a sizable structural budget gap if current policies continue.”

Sustainability of Cotton a Common Question

Cotton Incorporated President Berry Worsham says his organization gets more questions about the sustainability of U.S. cotton production than any other cotton topic – other than market prices…

“We were asked recently by a major brand in Europe to do an analysis on the impacts of water…irrigation in the US, Egypt, India, and China. And people with brands and retailers that aren’t normally looking this far down the supply chain are asking those kinds of questions today.”

Cattle Industry Pressuring Forest Service

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association continues to raise concerns to the U.S. Forest Service about the detrimental impacts its proposed forest planning rule would have on federal lands ranching. The proposed rule will set management requirements for the 155 forests and 20 grasslands that constitute the National Forest System. Joe Guild, Chairman of NCBA’s Federal Lands Policy Committee, says the proposal is unworkable and shifts the focus from multiple-use to non-use and preservation.

Committee Passes Pipeline Construction Authority

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has voted largely along party lines to advance a bill on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The legislation would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 30 days to approve the pipeline and would take the decision out of the hands of the White House. President Obama denied a permit for the project earlier this year. 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.