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SC Peanut Crop Survives Wet Weather

The excessive rains this year have created havoc for a lot of South Carolina’s crops, and peanuts are no exception. But, Clemson Peanut Specialist Dr. Scott Monfort says all in the peanut crop is okay:

“Luckily most of that rain came early in the growing season. If you look at all the other crops compared to peanuts, I think peanuts fared better than any of them.”

But, that’s not to say the crop hasn’t had problems explains Monfort:

“I’m pleased with the crop that we have though we do have some problems. We have lost some peanuts due to rot because of the water being there for so long and some issues with inoculation.”

Monfort says he’s looking for at least average harvest numbers this year.

Shauanghui International Secures Funding for Smithfield Purchase

Shuanghui International Holdings Inc. released a statement on Monday saying it has secured a $4 billion loan from a consortium of eight banks, part of the financing the Chinese pork giant needs to acquire Smithfield Foods, according to a report in the Global Times, an English- and Chinese-language news outlet covering China.

The value of the transaction, first announced in May, has been calculated to be about $7.1 billion, including assumption of Smithfield’s net debt.
According to the Global Times, analysts continue to speculate that Shanghui plans an IPO for the merged company, probably on a Chinese stock exchange, in order to raise funds to pay down the debt.

The N.C. Board of Agriculture met last week and approved a couple of items:

The items approved included:

An increase in the fee for waste-sample analysis conducted by the NCDA’s Agronomic Services Division. Waste analysis helps growers make responsible decisions about the use of farm, municipal and industrial wastes and their by-products as fertilizer for crop production. The fee will be $8, an increase of $3. The increase will help offset budget cuts.

Fees for certain diagnostic tests for poultry. The department’s Veterinary Division will begin charging a fee of 60 cents per sample for two types of avian influenza tests conducted at its labs. The division also plans to increase fees for certain poultry blood tests by 10 to 15 cents per sample. The adjustments will help offset budget cuts and also make North Carolina’s fee structure more consistent with those in other states.

The Board of Agriculture is a policymaking body that adopts regulations for many of the programs administered by the NCDA&CS. Its members are appointed by the governor. The commissioner of agriculture serves as chairman of the board.

Without Farm Bill Ag Exports Could Suffer

Ag export programs in the farm bill get part of the credit for soaring U.S. farm exports. But without a farm bill – trade experts fear ag promotion in U.S. overseas markets could suffer. USDA’s latest ag export forecast of 140-billion dollars this fiscal year – if achieved – would be a new record – and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is quick to make the connection that Congress needs to pass a farm bill – including trade promotion programs – as soon as possible. American Farm Bureau Trade Adviser Dave Salmonsen says the lack of a farm bill creates uncertainty over two key programs – the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program…

“Its looking to next year and will there be continued authorization. And the support that these programs are given through the USDA and the people at the foreign ag service that support that, will they be able to keep doing their work?”

A spokesman for House GOP Leader Eric Cantor insists no decision has been made on taking a House farm bill to conference with the Senate – even if the House passes a now separate food stamp bill. 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.