Late Winter Cold Could Create More Work for Peach Growers

February’s frigid temperatures could make spring and summer tiring seasons for South Carolina peach growers.

Crop losses due to freezing temperatures likely will be minimal, said Gregory Reighard, a pomology professor at Clemson University, but the cold snap could condense the peach bloom period and subsequent fruit thinning window, he said. That will put logistical pressures on manpower.

South Carolina’s predominant peach-growing region, known as “The Ridge,” saw temperatures dip to 18 degrees in February. At those temperatures, trees could lose about 10 percent of flowers, Reighard said. If that’s the case, growers will still need to thin flowers on selected varieties anyway.  With this week’s warm temperatures, trees should be on the verge of breaking dormancy.

NCDA Holding Dairy Workshop

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is partnering with NC Dairy Advantage, the NC Coop Extension and the NC Farm Bureau to hold a dairy workshop on optimizing herd health and animal production through nutrition.  The free workshop will be held Wednesday, March 25th at 10:00 am at the Iredell County Center in Statesville.  The Workshop will include information on providing proper nutrition for dairy cattle.  Deadline for registration is March 20th.  For more information or to register visit

Bi-Partisan Chicken Caucus Formed in the US House

Congressman Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.) announced the formation of a new, bipartisan Congressional Chicken Caucus in the House of Representatives.

The caucus will serve as a formal group of members whose mission is to educate members of Congress and others about the history, contributions and issues of importance to U.S. chicken producers, pertaining to food safety, international trade, labor, animal welfare, immigration and environmental issues, among others.

In 2014, U.S. chicken production was responsible for as much as $348.8 billion in total economic activity throughout the country.  North Carolina is the second largest producer of poultry and poultry products in the country.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.