More Summer-like Temperatures On the Way

While especially nice from a human comfort standpoint, the recent weather pattern has been holding heat loving crops like cotton and corn back. Independent meteorologist Kyle Bridgers says the cool rainy weather is about to come to an end:

“This weekend’s going to be beautiful, of course, temperatures are going to be very mild. But, starting next Wednesday is when temperatures are going to start to climb reaching around 90, and next Friday is looking real warm; in the mid 90’s.”
As for rain, Bridgers says there’s not a lot in the forecast:

“Some light rain on Thursday, but other than that, for the next, seven, eight days, it’s looking like it’s going to be no precipitation in the forecast.”
Independent meteorologist Kyle Bridgers.

BCAP Funds Announced for Additional Non-Food Energy Crop Production

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly 10-million dollars in funding for the creation of new Biomass Crop Assistance Program project areas in New York and North Carolina – and the expansion of an established project area in Arkansas. USDA says this announcement provides the opportunity to expand non-food, energy crops used in the manufacturing of liquid biofuels and to help meet state mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards.

Todd Atkinson of USDA's Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services describes the North Carolina project covered under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Fiscal Year 2012:

“One of the new project areas is located in North Carolina, and it’s an award of about $3.9 million to enroll about 4,000 acres in switch grass and giant miscanthus, and these crops will be manufactured into liquid biofuels by the Chemtex facility that is located near Clinton, North Carolina. And that facility is designed to eventually produce perhaps in the neighborhood of 20-million gallons of bio-ethanol.”
Vilsack says these projects are the foundation for an even stronger energy future in rural America.

Poultry House Burns in Virginia

Shenandoah County authorities are investigating a poultry barn fire that killed up to 17,000 birds, all the birds in the structure
Firefighters had to bring more than 20,000 gallons of water from a nearby farm pond to the scene to fight the fire. The cause of the fire had yet to be determined.

USDA’s Administrator for Rural Utilities in NC

Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of USDA Rural Utilities Service has been in North Carolina this week to hear ideas on revitalizing rural America:

“President Obama sent me around the country along with a number of other senior administration officials to hear from business leaders about what we can do to really revitalize rural communities, spur job creation, and get the economy moving as fast as we can.”

Senate Panel Blocks New Rules on Foreign Workers

Several Democrats on a key Senate panel have voted with Republicans to temporarily block new labor-friendly Obama administration rules for seasonal foreign workers who often perform backbreaking labor at low wages. The Appropriations Committee voted to block the controversial rules for one year when debating legislation setting the Department of Labor’s budget.

The rules are designed to make it more difficult for businesses like seafood processors to exploit foreign workers and to get more Americans into seasonal jobs.

But, business groups say requirements like paying transportation costs and visa fees for imported workers are too high. Employers also oppose a requirement to pay workers for three-quarters of the length of a contract, even if weather or other circumstances mean there isn’t that much work.

NC Farm Worker Project says that the Tar Heel state ranks sixth in the nation in the number of migrant farm workers at approximately 150,000 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.