NC Tobacco Referendum Passes


North Carolina tobacco growers voted overwhelmingly Nov. 19 to continue a self-assessment that raises funds to support tobacco-related research and extension efforts of NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Under the Tobacco Research Check-Off, started 24 years ago, producers decide whether to assess 10 cents per 100 pounds of flue-cured and burley tobacco sold. This year’s referendum – which passed by 94.5 percent – continues the assessment through the 2021 crop year.

Hog Prices Drop to Six-Year Low

Live hog prices fell below $40, their lowest level since November 2009. Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt says the source of the current downturn in prices has components from both supply and demand. He says abundant supplies of pork are easy to find as pork production this year is up seven percent, but demand has slowed. Hurt believes that the weakness in demand may have been affected by the World Health Organization’s announcement in October that linked bacon and processed meats to cancer in humans and generated considerable media coverage in the weeks that followed.

Final Day for Free Soil Testing Fast Approaching

Monday is the final day to have soil tested for free in North Carolina.  Beginning Tuesday, soil samples will be $4 per test at the Soils Lab in the Agronomics Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture in Raleigh.  The fee will be in effect until the end of March.  Samples on the dock before 6:00 pm on Monday will be tested for free. 

Syngenta Suing Grain Exporting Companies over Trait Dispute

After farmers alleged losses from China rejecting shipments of genetically modified corn, Syngenta AG has now sued several grain-trading firms. Dow Jones reports the lawsuit that was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Kansas stems from a legal dispute that arose last year. That dispute was attributed to grain companies and farmers suing Syngenta, arguing the company should compensate them for lost sales and lower corn prices that they claim arose from the rejected shipments. Syngenta argued in the new lawsuit that grain merchants, including Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, should be on the hook for losses that crop producers say they are due in the matter.'

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.