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Water Management Workshop Coming Up

The 2014 Irrigation Water Management Workshop at the Vernon James Research and Extension Center is on January 27th, 2014. This meeting will help growers with overhead irrigation systems use water and nutrients to increase crop yield, improve water use efficiency, and protect waterways more efficiently. The workshop will consist of both classroom and field demonstrations. Topics will include new technologies that help manage and apply water more efficiently, irrigation scheduling, fertigation strategies and equipment, and the use of irrigation controllers to help automate and record irrigation related activities. Field demonstration will include demonstration of various soil-moisture sensors and display of fertigation equipment.

This workshop is limited to 25 people. Registration begins at 8:30 am, and the meeting ends around 4:30 pm after the field demonstrations.

Click here for more information and registration.

SC Farmers Looking at New Noxious Weed Species

A headache for South Carolina farmers is lurking along a highway near Moncks Corner.

Scientists have, for the first time in South Carolina, found itchgrass, a noxious tropical weed that can spread quickly and aggressively colonize farm fields and pastures.

South Carolina is the ninth state to report the grass that can literally be a pain to remove. That’s because hair-like growths on the plant can cause irritating itching on the skin if you try to pull it out. And that’s where the plant gets its common name.

John Nelson of the University of South Carolina Herbarium in Columbia says the weed seems to be moving north likely because the climate is getting milder.
Domestic Oil Output Reaching 1970’s Levels

U.S. Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski says domestic oil output may hit its previous 1970 peak of 9.6 million barrels a day over the next two years.

“One of the interesting things from this forecast is we now see US oil production reaching 9.6 million production per day.”

No Major Issues Expected as Result of FDA Guidance

The Food and Drug Administration says 25 to 27 companies will be affected by the new guidance issued last week – which establishes a three-year timeline for phasing out growth-promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and phasing in veterinary oversight. Zoetis and Elanco have both said they plan to adopt the voluntary guidelines and don’t expect a significant impact on overall sales. From the rancher’s side of things – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesman Chase Adams has said no major issues are expected – as this move from the FDA has been anticipated.

NC Niche Farmer’s Demand Outpacing Supply

Shelby, dairy farmer, Ashley Bridges has a welcome problem this holiday season; she can’t keep enough product on the shelves of the retailers and consumers who are demanding it. A third-generation farmer, five years ago Bridges decided to transition her Guernsey cows completely to grass and now produces milk and cheeses for local restaurants and markets.

Bridges says demand for her products has increased by 50% this year.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.