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Irrigation & Water Management Workshop Scheduled for SC Producers

The Richland, Calhoun, and Orangeburg Conservation Districts will host an Irrigation and Water Management Workshop on Thursday, March 14, at Tri-County Electric in St. Matthews from 9 am until 3 pm. Attendees will learn about irrigation scheduling, water quality and how it affects production and pesticide efficacy, agricultural water use regulations and reporting requirements, and NRCS technical and financial assistance for efficient irrigation and water management practices. The cost for the workshop is $10 and includes lunch. For more details or to register, visit our calendar

NCBA Levels Charges of Political Gamesmanship at Ag Secretary Vilsack

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association accuses Secretary Tom Vilsack of using cattlemen and women as pawns in the White House’s budget war with Hill Republicans. NCBA leveled the charge after Vilsack threatened to furlough meat inspectors for 15-days at nearly 63-hundred meat, poultry and egg processing plants in the event of so-called sequestration. NCBA’s Colin Woodall…

“Unfortunately we think that this is a completely political gamesmanship, and its part of the bigger gamesmanship that we are seeing on this entire issue of sequestration, whether is the USDA or the Dept of Defense, its just a battle between the President, the administration and Congress.”

USDA estimates plant shutdowns forced by inspector furloughs would cost over 10-billion in production losses – 400-million in lost wages and possible meat shortages and higher prices.

Quartet of Bills Introduced to Improve EPA Transparency

A package of legislation has been introduced to promote greater transparency and accountability in the EPA’s regulatory process by former ag secretary now US Senator Mike Johanns from Nebraska. Johanns says everyone from mayors to public utility providers to farmers and ranchers have expressed concern with EPA’s aggressive agenda and lack of understanding about how the economy works. The package he has introduced includes four individual pieces of legislation aimed at common-sense EPA regulatory reform.

Listening Session on New Produce Regulations Scheduled in Raleigh

Produce farmers and packers can learn more about the federal government’s proposed produce safety rule at a listening session Feb. 20 at the State Fairgrounds.

Individuals also will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Scott Building.

At the meeting, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, and James Gorny, senior advisor for produce safety, will present information about the rule.

Individuals interested in attending the listening session are encouraged to register so that organizers will have an estimate of the audience size. Anyone with questions about the event should contact Christina Waggett with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 919-707-3008.

Direct to Consumer Marketing Source of Rural Growth

Many are looking for ways to grow the population and economies in rural towns. One way is through direct to consumer sales. American Farm Bureau Federation Rural Affairs Director Sabrina Matteson says this allows farmers to market their own products…

“It offers an opportunity for farmers to be able to connect with consumers, because consumers want to know where their food comes from, they want to know how its processed, that its safe to eat and the farmer feeds the same product to his own children.”

Direct to consumer sales has continued to grow with the locally-grown food movement. Matteson says research has found that one-third of farm households have independent business. 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.