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SC Farms Have Opportunity to Make Themselves Easier to Find

It will soon become easier for visitors to South Carolina to find tourist attractions off the beaten path or to find agricultural attractions.

A new program of blue directional signs pointing the way to such rural locations begins next month. The signs will be similar to those that direct visitors to services off the interstates. But these signs will have the state PRT and Certified South Carolina Grown agriculture logos.

The idea is to make it easier for visitors to find their way to attractions in less-traveled areas. Such attractions might range from roadside farm stands to whitewater rafting and outdoor outfitters.

The program is being administered by the state Transportation Department in conjunction with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism and the state Agriculture Department.

Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Expanded

Warren County is the latest to fall under quarantine rules restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock and other ash materials after emerald ash borers were confirmed in trees in the county. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler signed an emergency quarantine order allowing the expansion.

Granville, Person and Vance counties were already under quarantine from when the pest was first detected in the state in mid-June.

North Carolina is the 20th state in the country to confirm the presence of the destructive pest, following the discovery of an adult beetle and other signs of borer activity in trees in Granville County by staff with the N.C. Forest Service. Additional surveying found signs of emerald ash borer activity in the bordering counties of Person and Vance.

The N.C. Forest Service is enlisting a small, stingless wasp in its battle with the emerald ash borer.

Today, Dr. Kelly Oten will release a species of parasitoid wasp that can kill emerald ash borer larvae. The wasp lays eggs inside the borer larvae, and as the young wasps develop, they kill the ash borer larvae.

The release will take place in three locations in Granville County: four miles northwest of Oak Hill, four miles northwest of Townsville near Kerr Reservoir, and one mile north of Stovall.

Good News on Gas Prices shows the average price of gas at 3.46 a gallon today, much cheaper than it was this time last year. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for is expecting prices to drop another 15 to 20 cents by Halloween:

“Gas prices have come down substantially, especially in the last month, they have given up ten cents. We expect that to continue, and the down turn in prices may accelerate in the next week or two.”

One Senator Still Expects Farm Bill this Year

Just a week after the House passed a food stamp bill the House GOP insisted on before entering farm bill talks with the Senate – there’s nothing on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s weekly schedule on entering negotiations with the Senate – even with the current farm bill extension about to expire at midnight on Monday. Ag leaders are frustrated and disappointed again.

In the Senate – longtime Ag Leader Chuck Grassley still expects a negotiated farm bill deal by the end of the year and the next so-called dairy cliff of 1940s dairy support levels. But Grassley concedes House Ag Chair Frank Lucas will be under strong pressure to defend the House line on 39-billion in 10-year food stamp cuts. The issue is flexibility…

“It’s not going to have much. Then the extent to what Chairman Stabenow recognizes that is an important factor. At this point I can’t say if she will or not.”

 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.