The Goodness Grows in North Carolina Program, a service offered by the NC Department of Agriculture continues to grow as more and more agricultural producers continue their work further, converting raw commodities into table ready products. Jeff Thomas, Manager of the Goodness Grows program says the membership has doubled in just over six years:

“It’s really a tribute to the companies going out there and promoting what they are doing and the unconventional events that we are doing to get the consumer involved. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Membership in the program is free. To buy local, just look for the Goodness Grows in North Carolina emblem at retailers throughout the state.

Using Forensic Science to Find Crop Pest Predators

USDA researchers are using a forensic crime tool to identify insects that are natural predators to crop pests. Mike Greenstone – Entomologist with the Agricultural Research Service – says the researchers are using Preliminary Change Reaction – a tool to fingerprint bodily fluids or saliva from perpetrators of crime – to study DNA barcoding of those natural predators. Greenstone says this can help farmers

“If he sees predators in the fields, especially if he sees the most important predators, he should avoid killing them. Try to avoid using broad spectrum pesticides that kill not just the pest but any insect in the field. Or delay spraying till a later date if that is possible."

Senate Looks to Take Up Farm Bill in June

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow told reporters earlier this week the full Senate will take up the farm bill very soon and will survive differences with southerners and the House. Stabenow sounded a confident note – despite huge hurdles in getting a bill done before the elections – and no guarantee of a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Proposal to Extend Electronic Trading Hours Amended

In response to significant feedback from the grain industry – CME Group Managing Director of Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments Tim Andriesen says CBOT grain and oilseed trading hours are being further amended to 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. Central time Sunday through Friday. He says it’s been communicated that these hours meet the risk management needs of this customer segment.

No Decision on Opening TPP to Additional Participants

Three countries that hope to get in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership will have to continue to wait for admission to the talks. The nine nations currently involved in the discussions – according to a U.S. trade official – are at different stages of determining if Japan, Canada and Mexico can join. Negotiators are wrapping up the latest round of talks this week in Dallas. 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.