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North Carolina Grower Looking at Good Turkey Season

This is the week where the turkey business really shines, and Scott Prestige of VP of the turkey division for Prestige Farms says it’s looking to be a good season for them:

“I’m happy to report that we are seeing good demand for turkeys and we are optimistic that we will clean up our inventory well as we go thru the season.”

With the healthy food movement continuing to gain momentum, turkey has gone from a 4th quarter product to more of a year-around product says Prestige:

“Today, turkey is on the menu year round. When you look at the food service industry, and some of the other products that have been developed, turkey is moving year round much better than it once did. But Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday are still very important to us and we continue to move a large percentage of our product in the fourth quarter.”

North Carolina produces about 39 million birds a year, second to Minnesota’s 46 million birds.

Still Time to Sign Up for the SE Vegetable & Fruit Expo

The 28th Annual Southeast Vegetable & Fruit Expo is scheduled for December 2nd through the 4th at the Kingston Plantation Embassy Suites at Myrtle Beach. This year’s event features an expanded regional trade show, which will be open continually throughout the event.

The Expo also features several educational events such as Post Harvest and Packing Shed Risks, Cultural Management Considerations for Sweet Potatoes, direct marketing strategies and more. For more information or to register visit

Henderson County has one of the Best Apple Crop’s in Years

Henderson County's apple growers say this season's crop turned out well, despite the heavy rains earlier this year.

Henderson County Extension Director Marvin Owings Jr. said the 2013 crops is one of the best in years.

Owings Jr. estimates growers will harvest close to 3 million bushels of apples this year, only about 300,000 bushels less than a full crop.

Growers have had 64 inches of rain between January and mid-November. There also were problems getting apple pickers because of immigration laws.

Local agriculture officials say this summer's rains destroyed about 5 percent of the county's apple crop. They say growers had to spray about 20 to 30 percent more fungicides than usual to keep diseases under control.

No Agreement on the Farm Bill

The Agriculture Committee leaders did not reach an agreement on a new farm bill last week. House Ag Chair Frank Lucas, House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Senate Ag Ranking Member Thad Cochran met twice on Thursday before deciding there was no point to continue. Stabenow expressed disappointment the leaders haven’t reached an agreement yet – but stated she would continue to fight for priorities the Senate feels are important. The staff will keep working – but it’s not yet known when meetings at the member level will resume.

NC’s Billy Ray Hall Denied ‘Golden Parachute’

The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center's board has decided not to give a special $242,000 severance to its founding president.

The board voted late last week against giving the payment to Billy Ray Hall, who resigned over the summer.

The group was designed to help rural communities but its state funding was cut off after a critical audit.

State Auditor Beth Wood's office said in July that Hall's $221,000 salary was unreasonable and the center neither adequately monitored state funds received nor verified job-creation claims. Most center funds are now in state hands.

A New Home for Pardoned Turkeys

It turns out the turkeys President Obama pardoned the day before Thanksgiving have not enjoyed a long life at Mount Vernon. In fact – all of them have died. The turkeys pardoned this year will be sent to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. National Turkey Federation spokesman Keith Williams says the decision is not based on the fact that the turkeys died young – but because Mount Vernon officials have said they no longer want to care for the birds because they do not match the historic accuracy of turkeys from George Washington’s era. 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.