NC Department of Labor Assisting Growers in On-Farm Safety

On Wednesday, on the opening day of the southern Farm Show, the North Carolina Department of Labor hosted their 19th Annual Gold Star Grower Workshop. Regina Cullen, with the NC Dept of Labor, agricultural safety and health bureau:

“We started 20 years ago doing migrant housing, we were the Migrant Housing Division. We have grown from that to ag safety and health.”

Now the division encompasses all types of safety on farms according to Cullen:

“We are a safety and health bureau. From the housing to the farm equipment to the pesticides, all of it.”

Cullen explains that as worker safety has become a top priority on farms and in food processing, consequently, on the job injuries are down:

“We are getting better. People are educating their workers and themselves. They have a safety plan in case something does happen.”

Regina Cullen with North Carolina Department of Labor’s Agricultural Safety & Health Bureau.

SC Ag Council Schedules Quarterly Meeting

The South Carolina Ag Council has scheduled their quarterly meeting for February 21st at the South Carolina Farm Bureau office in Cayce. The meeting gets underway at 10:00 am with featured speakers Pat Layton, Director of the School of Agricultural, Forest & Environmental Sciences at Clemson University. Cost is $10 for advance reservation for council members and their invited guests, non-members and anyone at the door will be $15.

Drought Continues to Have Long-term Effect on Beef Prices

The great drought of 2012 continues to echo through the farm economy with USDA forecasting higher beef prices for the next couple of years. Drought-stressed feed supplies have depleted the cattle herd – leading to higher retail beef prices. USDA Livestock Analyst Shale Shaggam says beef production is off four-percent from a year ago…

“There are a couple of factors: one of them is the smaller pool of cattle the other is the extent to which we see the return to normal forage conditions. There will be very strong demand by breeders to rebuild inventory.”

Leading to higher prices for retail beef and cattle…

“We are looking at prices running $120 per 100 weight range, we would expect prices to near $130 dollars in 2013.”

Retail beef prices are already four-and-a-half-percent higher than a year ago – with USDA forecasting another three to four-percent hike this year – making this at least the third year of successive increases.

Helping Rural Economies Would Play Significant Role in Overall Economy

USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien explains why a new report suggests that rural regions are vital to the nation’s overall growth and economic well-being:

“What is key about this report is that when you look at the aggregate contributions that rural places make to the nation’s economy, its very significant, you can’t ignore it.” 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.