Peanut Products Expected to be Protein of Choice

With surging grain prices creating havoc in the livestock industry, the natural economic process will be for meat prices to go up. While not good news for consumers, it’s expected to be a boon for peanut growers according to Bob Sutter, CEO of the North Carolina Peanut Association:

“We do and for the very same reason when we saw the last surge it was because of hard economic times and this surge may not be extremely hard times but it will be because of increase of what we think will be meat prices, all meat prices including beef and chicken, so we think that consumers will again look to peanut butter as a source of protein.”

Sunflower Industry Looks Toward High Oleic Varieties

The trend in vegetable oils is to healthier oils. In the case of sunflowers – the healthier Nu-Sun varieties introduced in the 1990s have become the standard. Farmer John Swanson – a 40-year veteran of the sunflower seed industry – says canola and soybeans come with oils similar to Nu-Sun – so sunflower oil needs to find a new niche. Swanson says the next big thing for the sunflower industry is high oleic varieties…

“Oleic with very low fat, it will be less than 3% fat. It will be a healthy oil and very stable for cooking. It will be great for food use and has potential for vegetable use.”

Virginia’s Apple Crop in Poor Shape

North Carolina’s top producing apple county, Henderson, is reporting their crop is in poor shape due to a warm March and a frost in April. Apple growers in Virginia say this year's hot, dry weather has hurt their crops. Bedford County orchard owner Danny Johnson says he expects a shortage of apples this year explaining his orchard has seen little rain. And because many apples are blistered from the heat, the orchard is being picked early this year to save the apples that do survive. Nelson County grower Jim Saunders says his farm has an irrigation system, but production will be down 20 percent this year due to hail damage and the June 29 windstorm. Damage is worse in other areas.

North Carolina Retailer Awarded Retailer of the Year

Progressive Grocer, the leading voice of the supermarket industry for 90 years, has named Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter as its 2012 Retailer of the Year.

To salute the regional grocery chain with its highest annual honor, PG’s cover profile story of Harris Teeter will appear in the publication’s upcoming October issue.

In announcing its 2012 Retailer of the Year recipient, Editorial Director Meg Major praised Harris Teeter’s “customer-focused culture, which has been at the forefront of the company’s exemplary performance through the years.” In addition, Major continued, “We are extremely impressed by Harris Teeter’s overall excellence as an employer and merchant, as well as its abiding commitment to excellence in customer service and satisfaction and its aggressive stance to expand its geographic footprint into new marketing territories, all of which are certainly no easy feat in the present retailing climate.”

Harris-Teeter stores primarily are in the Carolinas. 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.