USDA Making Meat Products Safer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced new steps to safeguard the food supply and to protect consumers nationwide. Later this summer, the Department will launch a new approach to its testing to protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of chemical residues in meat, poultry, and egg products. The new, modern, high-efficiency methods will conserve resources and provide useful and reliable results while enabling the Agency to analyze each sample for more chemical compounds than previously possible.

Retails Sales Neutral Due to Shopper Malaise

Retail sales up zero point three per cent his month- barely positive says retail sales expert Ken Perkins but enough to keep a string of 34 straight months intact:

“The weakest monthly gain we have seen going back to August 2009.”

Candace Corlett -who surveys shoppers for retailers- explains why Americans are not in a buying mood:

“In the shoppers mind, they are still living in a recessionary economy.”

Combating Carolina Stink Bug Population Takes Multi-Pronged Approach

Brown marmorated stink bugs have made an appearance in Carolina soybean fields this year, and Tracy Leskey, USDA research entomologist, says that it will take more than one approach, more than one tactic, to get populations under control:

“Multiple approaches such as biological control with a wasp, even our native natural enemies are feeding on this insect and contributing to control. However we need to understand all of the pieces and more about the biology so we can develop a comprehensive management solution for this bug.”

SC’s Immigration Law Going to Court Again

A federal judge is getting an update on a challenge to South Carolina's illegal immigration law. The federal government sued to block South Carolina's law, which was modeled on similar legislation in Arizona. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned most of Arizona's law but left intact a provision allowing law enforcement to ask the citizenship status of people stopped for another reason. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has scheduled a conference Monday.

Virginia’s Farm Bureau Looking to Save State’s State Fair

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is negotiating to buy at least part of the State Fair of Virginia from its new owner. Federation spokesman Greg Hicks tells The Richmond Times-Dispatch that his organization has been in talks with Tennessee-based Universal Fairs LLC. He says an announcement "one way or the other" will be made next week. Universal Fairs president Mark Lovell bought the 150-year-old fair's intellectual property and the event site in Caroline County for $5.67 million at an auction on May 22, after the previous owners filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 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.