South Carolina

In their centennial year, the Pee Dee Research and Education center near Florence, South Carolina will be hosting their annual field day on August 21st. The Center’s Director, Bruce Fortnum explains that the field day tours get underway at 9:00 am sharp:

“Our tours start at 9 and run till 12. We will have some lunch speakers and then wrap up around 1:30. We will have pesticide credits and certified crop advisor credits for participants.”

For more information on the Pee Dee Research & Education Center field day, visit our calendar. 

Silage May Have Too Many Nitrates to Feed Livestock

Can the situation get any worse for drought stricken farmers? Sadly yes. Now there is concern about feeding drought-damaged corn to their livestock. A situation that we’ve seen in the Carolinas all to often, nitrate levels accumulating in drought-stressed corn posing a risk to animal health. Many farmers across the Midwest are abandoning ruined corn crops and salvaging what they can to feed to their animals, especially cattle. Dan Shaf a dairy cattle nutritionist with Agri King explains what happens when corn is stunted from drought:

“If it’s not actually growing because its stunted from drought stress, it doesn’t get converted in to plant protein, it stays there as nitrates.”

In which case it’s just waste.

Reagan-era Ag Secretary Doesn’t See a New Farm Bill This Year

Former Ag Secretary for President Reagan, John Block does not see House Republican leaders doing a farm bill when Congress returns in September. Block says all eyes will be focused on November. Block agrees with the need for certainty in farm policy that a five-year bill would bring. But the former GOP Ag Secretary doesn’t think House Republican leaders will have the votes to do a farm bill in September any more than they did in August…

“A farm bill in September is still very questionable. Attention right now is on this election and I will be surprised if we get the farm bill in September.”

And why? Block points to House Budget Chair – and now Mitt Romney’s running mate – Paul Ryan…

“Paul Ryan is focused on getting control of spending and part of that especially is control of the food programs in the Department of Agriculture because they are by far the biggest part of the budget, some $80 billion.”

So Republicans – Block agrees – will be more dug in in September against a farm bill they feel doesn’t cut enough – while Democrats will continue to rail against Ryan-inspired food stamp cuts ahead of the election.

New Campaign to Educate Public on NC’s Wild Horses

A new public awareness campaign is being launched to protect the wild horses roaming on Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island in Carteret County. the effort is sponsored by the Cape Lookout National Seashore, the Foundation for Shackleford Horses and the Rachel Carson National Estuarine Research Reserve. The foundation's Carolyn Mason says more people are trying to get close to the horses but people should keep their distance noting that if the horses are disturbed at watering holes, they may run and not get enough to drink, affecting their health. 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.