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NC Senate Signs Bill Prohibiting DENR from Releasing Records

On Wednesday, the North Carolina State Senate signed off on a bill changing regulations for farms across the state.  The senate voted to agree to a bill that would shield the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from disclosing complains and investigations on farms.  Under the bill, record could be released only b court order if the state determines a violation occurred.  The state could also refuse a complaint if it finds the complaint was made in bad faith.  The bill will now be sent to the House for their approval.

Cotton Boll Worms on the Increase

Clemson Extension is reporting an increase in cotton boll worms in traps.  Most cotton will fend off the pest, but cotton with spent blooms is more susceptible, since the Bt trait doesn’t transfer to the bloom.  Extension is recommending scouting fields for boll worm eggs, which will be laid uniformly across a field, not just the edges.  If a non-Bt variety is in the field, Extension is recommending vigilance.  Extension is also reporting that populations of stink bugs are also variable from field to field.

AFMA Changes Tune on Gestation Stalls

The American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution that updates its policy on sow housing to explicitly recommend housing that allows sow to assume ‘normal postures’ and ‘express normal patterns of behavior’.

The resolution is important, as AVMA has been considered an industry expert opinion on the contentious debate over the use of gestation stalls.  That animal husbandry practice was standard in the industry is previous decades, but has in recent years begun to be phased out by some major producers.

The new AVMA resolution does not directly oppose gestation stall use, but does add language that addresses quantity of space and warns against conditions that could produce ‘distress’ or ‘fear’ in the animals.'

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.