USDA Steps in to Stabilize Livestock Markets

The drought in the Midwest has been particularly hard on livestock producers, including pork , poultry and dairy producers in the Carolinas. Ag secretary Tom Vilsack:

“The President instructed me to take a look at what we could do immediately and one thing we can do is to purchase product through USDA’s capacities for food banks and our school lunch programs”

So, USDA did a little shopping according to Vilsack:

“The President announced $100 million of pork products are being purchased by USDA along with $50 million in chicken, $10 million in lamb and $10 million in catfish.”

Vilsack explains that the pork purchase in particular was targeted to one particular sagging market:

“These pork purchases are initially focuses on sow meat which hasn’t had a particularly good market recently, but this should help to stabilize that market.”

For more from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, check out the story on the home page.  

Pee Dee Research Station Annual Field Day

Pee Dee Research Station’s Annual Field Day is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 21 at the Pee Dee Research & Education Center near Florence, South Carolina. The event gets underway at 8:00 am with registration, and field tours start at 9:00. This year’s field day also includes presentation on grain sorghum and flax. A free lunch will be served, and the event wraps up around 1:30 pm.

Visit our CALENDAR for more information.

Wholesale Prices Rise

Overall, wholesale prices rose in July, up 0.3 percent. Food prices increased by 0.5 percent. Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist with IHS Global Insight, says this is not good news for consumers:

“Producers are actually able to push through slightly faster price increases with the likelihood of more to come, probably on the gasoline front and the food price front.”

Court Ruling on One Aspect of Savannah River Deepening Project

A federal judge says that both the Georgia Ports Authority and a South Carolina agency overseeing activities in the Savannah River may take part in a $650 million lawsuit challenging the deepening of the river shipping channel.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel also denied a motion Tuesday to expand the lawsuit to deal with what South Carolina environmental laws pertain to the project. So the case will center on the original complaint that the work needs a South Carolina pollution permit.

Labor Union Accuses Sanderson Farms of Dangerous Work Environment

A union representing employees of one of Sanderson Farms' two processing facilities in Mississippi accused the company of having a "dangerous, and racially insensitive" workplace at a press conference late last week.

Speaking to reporters outside the Hazlehurst facility's gate, members of Laborers International Union of North America Local 693 said the plant was dangerous to work in, reaching temperatures above 100 degrees F inside while workers are denied access to adequate water supplies and bathroom breaks. One of Sanderson Farms’ newest plants is outside of Kinston, North Carolina. 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.