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Workshop on Food Recalls Coming Up

In mid-September, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the NC Food Safety and Defense Task Force are hosting a one-day workshop on managing food recalls. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler explains the type of business that the workshop is designed to help:

“We are directing this at home based food businesses, shared use kitchens, meat processing plants and co-packers.”

The workshop, scheduled for September 19th is formatted to help smaller businesses that may actively be involved in a recall, or possibly a related business is involved in a recall and receiving backwash:

“We want the entrepreneurs to understand that there are several steps they can take to prevent a recall from happening and then if a recall does happen, what they can do at that time.”

Commissioner Troxler explains that industry leaders all across the food, health and ag sector are scheduled to speak at the workshop:

“We will have presenters from the retail industry, health officials, food inspectors and my department’s staff to explain how the recall takes place and then what happens after the recall. I think that’s something that people don’t always understand.”

The cost of the workshop is $20, and includes lunch and take-away materials. Registration is open until September 12, at or by calling Annette Dunlap at 919 707-3117.

Western Carolinas Could See Beneficial Rain from Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to pump up tropical moisture bringing rain to some areas of South Carolina and North Carolina where it is much needed.

The storm is moving farther west than first projected and South Carolina climatologist Hope Mizzell says the projected impact varies from between 1 to 4 inches of rain. That will help as the state moves toward the drier weather of fall.

Rain is in the forecast for the next several days. It's needed in the central Savannah River Valley where five counties are still considered to be in a severe drought.

Food Price Inflation Holding Steady…for now

USDA Economist Ricky Volpe explains the numbers of the latest USDA Food Price Outlook and its comparisons from month to month, and year to year.

“We are still looking at all food and food at home, that’s grocery prices, to go up 2.5% to 3.5% this year, but then for inflation to tick upwards to 3-4% in 2013 as retailers really start to pass on the cost effect of these higher production costs, which are mostly coming from higher corn, soybean and wheat prices. We are not seeing any major changes in retail food prices yet.”

Crop Insurance Companies Very Busy This Year

The 2012 growing season will be one for the record books – just not for the records that were expected when the crops were planted in the early spring following a mild winter. Natasha Kraushaar (CRAU sherr) is a crop insurance specialist for First Farm Credit Services – and she says her company expects to file a claim for every client in their book of business.

Eyes in the Field See Different Harvest Numbers than USDA

The 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour has come to a close and the estimates for the nation’s corn and soybean crops are in. Pro Farmer has pegged the U.S. corn crop at 10.47-billion bushels on an average yield of 120.25-bushels per acre. Both of those projections are lower than the estimates released by USDA on August 10th. For soybeans – Pro Farmer expects a 2012 crop of 2.6-billion bushels with an average yield of 34.8-bushels per acre. 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.