NC State Names New Head of Research Service

Dr. Steven Lommel has been named associate dean and director for the NC Ag Research Service. Lommel is a professor of plant pathology for NC State’s CALS, and has a long history of research programs, funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His work involves studying the structure of small plant viruses, with the goal of using them as viral-based nanotechnology cargo vehicles. Lommel takes over the position on September 1st.

Pork Exports Rise in June

U.S. pork exports edged higher in June. According to USDA – U.S. pork sales were up 2.4-percent in volume. Pork Checkoff Assistant Vice President of International Marketing Becca Hendricks says this year-over-year increase is encouraging – especially after a very weak first quarter. Market access issues have been a challenge…

“There are access issues to a lot of places around the world. One issue that has really affected our ability to export is that domestic supplies have been up in a lot of our key markets so a lot of our importing markets have their own quantities.”

More U.S. pork is also going to Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Central and South America.

Time to Test Corn for Aflatoxins

It should come as no surprise that as corn harvest progresses in this wet summer, NCDA is strongly suggesting producers test their corn for aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are harmful to human and animal health, and in many cases a test is required for crop insurance purposes. These tests must be submitted to a grain marketing location certified by USDA. A 5-pound sample of shelled corn can be submitted by UPS, FedEx or hand delivered to the Cargill Soybean Plant in Raleigh or the Grain Grading Office in Elizabeth City at a cost of $22.20 per sample. Farmers who grow corn to feed their own livestock can have it tested for free by NCDA’s Constable Laboratory in Raleigh.

Clemson University to co-host Rural Economic Development Event

Clemson University is heading up the BioEnterprises and I-95 and Rural Economic Development Summit on September 19th and 20th in Florence. The 2-day event will focus on attracting new bio-and agricultural based industries to the I-95 corridor such as advanced bioenergy technologies, new crops, and new bio-products. Visit  for more info or to register for the free event.

FTC to Investigate Allegations of Anti-Competitive Practices by Oil Companies

The Federal Trade Commission is going to examine possible anti-competitive practices by oil companies that limit consumer access to renewable fuels. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley recently urged the Administration to take action to address reports indicating oil companies may be undermining efforts to distribute renewable fuels – including higher ethanol blends. 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.