One-Fifth of North Carolina

North Carolina State University has released statistics for agriculture and agribusiness for 2011. Food, fiber and forestry account for almost one-fifth of the state’s income and employees. More than 17%, or $77 billion of the $440 billion gross state product is contributed by agriculture, as well as 642,000 of the state’s 3.8 million employees.

SC Could See Record Harvested Soybean Acres

In the Planted Acreage Report released by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service on Friday, South Carolina’s corn acreage is up slightly from 2012 at 97.4 acres. Growers are expected to harvest 89.1 million acres for grain, up 2% from 2012. Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at a record high 77.7 million acres, up 1 % from last year. Area for harvest is expected to be 76.9 million acres and will be a record high if realized. Cotton planted acreage is down 17% at 10.3 million acres.

Senate Passes Immigration Reform

The Senate’s passage of historic immigration legislation by a vote of 68 to 32 marks the halfway point in a long fight for agriculture to secure a stable and legal workforce. The farm worker provisions in the Senate bill result from close negotiations between ag employers, labor interests and others. American Farm Bureau’s Kristi Boswell…

“The American Farm Bureau was directly involved in those negotiations in trying to find a solution that ensures we have short term stability and access to keep our workers, a large percentage of which are un-documented status, and making sure we have access to a legal workforce in the future through a new and modified guest worker program.” 

Boswell says domestic workers are not coming out to do farm work – so producers have to rely on foreign labor. She says a W-2 and W-3 visa program in the Senate bill will give ag employers the flexibility they need…

“Right now there is a lot of instability out there. No one knows if the migrant workers are going to be able to travel up to their farms or there may be an I-9 audit and the grower may lose their workforce. We need stability for the growers.”

Now the question of reform is up to the House – where early signs point to a very difficult and tedious process
NC Flue-cured & Burley Tobacco Tours Set

Mexico Restricts Live Pork Imports from U.S.

Citing the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – Mexico has restricted live pork imports from the United States. At this time – Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry says the virus has not been detected in Mexico. The Ag Ministry will review imports on a case by case basis and those pigs imported from the U.S. before May 17th will be quarantined and closely observed.

CFTC Files Charges in MF Global Collapse

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed an enforcement action against MF Global Inc., former CEO Jon Corzine and the company’s former Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien. According to CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers – MF Global has agreed to settle all charges against it on terms set forth in a proposed order that is subject to court approval and includes 100-percent restitution of the approximately one-billion dollars lost by all commodity customers when the firm failed in October of 2011. 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.