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RTP Biotechnology Scientist Wins World Food Prize

Three biotechnology scientists were awarded the World Food Prize yesterday. This is the Nobel Prize for the food and agriculture world. Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize says their work has made marginal farm land more productive by allowing the crops to grow in difficult conditions.

“They developed the tools of biotechnology which can be used either to biologically or genetically, transform and enhance crops.”

The scientists are -, Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, Robert T. Fraley and Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta based in RTP. They will split 1/4 million dollars.

Duke Energy Holding Hearings for Proposed Rate Increase

Utilities regulators are holding hearings across central and western North Carolina to let consumers share their thoughts about plans by Duke Energy Carolinas to raise electricity rates by $235 million a year.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission was in Winston-Salem Wednesday for a public hearing on the utility's request to collect an extra $205 million in the first two years, and $235 million a year after that. That's less than half what the company originally requested regulators to approve.

More hearings will be followed by a utilities commission hearing on July 8 on whether to accept the settlement.

Virginia Working to Preserve Tobacco Barns

In a first step to preservation, tobacco barns that dot the rural landscape of Pittsylvania County have been surveyed by preservationists.

The survey was conducted by Preservation Virginia and a group of volunteers. There are about 2,000 tobacco barns in the county.

The survey that began in November is intended to provide information on the number, types and conditions of tobacco barns. Most of the barns are made of hand-hewn logs and have fieldstone foundations. 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.