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NC Electric Coops Receive Grants & Low Interest USDA Loans

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack was in North Carolina handing out money once again to three of the state’s electric cooperatives:

“Today we are announcing $269 million in funding to improve utilities in nine cooperatives in North Carolina. There are specifically three projects that are being funded: The Piedmont is receiving a $30 million loan, the Brunswick Electric Cooperative is going to receive a $21.5 million and the Edgecomb-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation is receiving $6.4 million.”

These low interest loans will complete this funding cycle under the 2008 farm bill.

Benefits of Organic Meats Under the Microscope

Organic pork is no safer than non-organic pork – according to an industry Veterinarian who reviewed the findings of an intensive Stanford University study. National Pork Producers Council Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom says the Stanford study of 237 other papers on organic versus conventional foods was not conclusive. Germs in non-organic pork and chicken together had a 33-percent higher chance of being resistant to antibiotics – but Wagstrom says organic pork also had germs…

“Organic pork actually had a 30% higher level of e-coli on it that did the conventional pork.”

Wagstrom adds that to have a drug-failure from drug-resistant bacteria – you have to eat enough of them to get sick, get treated by a doctor and receive the antibiotic being resisted. But it’s more likely the bacteria will be killed first by cooking to about 145-degrees.

The “Who’s Who” of Kudzu Bug Research at Clemson’s Edisto REC

The “Who’s Who” of kudzu bug management will be at the Edisto Research & Education Center near Blackville, South Carolina tomorrow. Dr. Jeremy Greene, entomologist at Edisto will be hosting the all-star cast:

“There will be scientists from Clemson, University of Georgia, NC State, USDA and others that are interested in this insect.”

For more information on tomorrow’s kudzu bug field day, visit our Calendar.

Step Taken Toward Easing Beef Restrictions in Japan

The Wall Street Journal reports a significant step has been taken toward lifting beef restrictions that have been a sore spot in U.S. trade relations with Japan. A Japanese government advisory panel on food safety has agreed on recommendations about easing imports of U.S. beef. According to the panel’s report – raising the upper age limit on animals whose beef can be accepted for importation to 30 months would pose little risk and the impact on human health would be negligible. Japan currently accepts product from cattle 20 months of age and younger.

More than Gas Prices Rise on Effects of Hurricanes

Need another reason not to like hurricanes? American Farm Bureau Economist Matt Erickson says that the result of Hurricane Isaac fertilizer prices will be up, as well as gasoline:

FAO Releases August Food Price Index, Unchanged from July

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that world food prices stabilized in August at levels close to those during the 2008 food crisis. FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva has called for international action to calm markets – but he says the current price index provides some cause for optimism. Graziano da Silva says current prices are no justification for talk of a world food crisis – but the international community can and should move to further calm markets. He says the FAO is reassured the U.S. drought won’t pull the world into a similar situation as in 2008.

DNC Creates Windfall for Charlotte’s Hungry

The forecast of thunderstorms that scuttled President Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium made for a brighter day for some of Charlotte's homeless and hungry.

The Charlotte Observer reported all the catered foods intended for the stadium's suites and club rooms was redistributed Friday to local soup kitchens and shelters. 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.