Prospective Cotton Acres About What Was Expected

Executive Vice President of the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association says that the prospective cotton acreage as reported in the Prospective Plantings report is about what he anticipated:

“Last year we saw a pretty big increase due to the price increase. So the fact that the acres have gone down is not surprising here in North Carolina. Last year we were around 800,000 acres, we are expecting a 10-15% decrease this year.” 

Parrish says that instead of producers backing out of cotton production all together, he feels they are reducing acres and putting cotton back into a regular rotation. 

Easter Ham Will Be More Expensive

Buying a ham for Easter dinner this year will mean having to live high on the hog for some. Ham prices have been higher than usual for the past two years. Food bank director Joyce Lonergan says that's on their minds as they assemble meal baskets for the needy, this Easter:

 “Last week and this week we have been putting together our Easter menu. That menu includes offering people chicken or ham steaks.”

They've opted for ham steaks, which are less expensive than whole hams. Agriculture Economist Ron Plain, at the University of Missouri, says the average retail price for pork was about $3.50 cents per pound in the first quarter. He says that's up at least 50-cents, in two years. Plain goes on to say that farmers are producing less pork because of increasing prices for feed, and some are also spending millions to phase out gestation crates. 

CME Launches Safety Net against Trading Company Failures

The company’s 100-million dollar Family Farmer and Rancher Protection Fund is now available, that CME Group unveiled the plans for in February. This is the first targeted step toward rebuilding confidence in futures markets following the failure of MF Global. The purpose is to provide an additional layer of protection to farmers and ranchers who lose money due to any future failure of a clearing member firm.

South Carolina Ag Council Spring Tour Set

On April 24th, the South Carolina Ag Council will hold their spring tour, getting underway at 7:45 am at the South Carolina Farm Bureau office in Cayce. This year’s event includes a tour of the John Deere Plant near Grovetown, Georgia and Titan Farms near Ridge Spring, South Carolina. Pre-registration is required due to limited travel seating. To learn more contact Beth Duncan at (803) 253-3731. 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.