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Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund grants awarded

The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at the University of Mount Olive was awarded a $192,764 grant by the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently.

The grant will be used to evaluate and analyze the potential for value-added soybean processing in eastern North Carolina through the expansion of services provided by Mule City Specialty Feeds, an independent agribusiness company in Johnston County. The project will serve Alamance, Bladen, Chatham, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Nash, Orange, Robeson, Sampson, Vance, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties.
The grant was among nearly $2.3 million awarded to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises. These grant recipients were applicants from the trust fund's Cycle VII request for proposals. Funding resources included statewide general appropriations, Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds and, for the first time, military funds. <MORE>

Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment Begins Next Week
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2014 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia today announced that farmers can enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) from Aug. 11, 2014 through Oct. 7, 2014.
The program, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides interim payments to cotton producers during the 2014 crop year until the Stacked Income Protection Plan, a new insurance product also created by the legislation, is available. Details on the plan will be released by mid-August. <MORE>

GETTING MORE FROM YOUR LAND:  Creative Ways to Increase Farm Income
What a great resource your land is, but are you taking advantage of all farm-related income opportunities possible?  Meet with experts on Tuesday AUGUST 26, 2014 at the Whiteville Cooperative Extension Office 6:30-8:30pm and explore practical ways to improve your bottom line.    Learn ways manage your woodland to maximize both timber and wildlife production; develop hunting programs that will reduce crop loss and diversify your income; gather new ideas on how to develop an agricultural tourism program on your farm; and examine various conservation programs that can help you to launch each of these projects <MORE>

Top Reasons to Shop at a Bladen County and North Carolina Farmers Market
By Bob Etheridge, Executive Director, North Carolina USDA Farm Service Agency
This week marks the15th Annual National Farmers Market Week, where we celebrate the abundance of summer and the Bladen County and North Carolina farmers and producers who make it possible. 
USDA has identified strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of rural economic development.  Nationwide, local food is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture.  The 2012 Census of Agriculture indicates that 150,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide are selling their products directly to consumers, often through farmers markets. Through the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA is making a historic investment of more than $78 million to support farmers markets and local and regional food systems.  <MORE>

Tobacco growers approve assessment


RALEIGH — North Carolina growers of flue-cured tobacco have approved an assessment that will support the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s efforts to promote the interests of its farmers.


The assessment was approved on 88 percent of ballots in a mail-in referendum. A two-thirds majority was needed for approval.


Growers approved an assessment of up to 15 cents per hundred pounds of flue-cured tobacco sold in North Carolina. However, the initial assessment will be 10 cents per hundred pounds. It takes effect this year and will be collected when farmers sell their tobacco.


Tobacco buyers will submit collected funds to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for distribution to the association. <MORE>

Bladen Conservation District - New Rental Equipment


The Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District has a new rental tool available. It is a Grassworks - Carpet Wick Applicator. It can be used on many low growing crops such as peanuts, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum, and pastures, to kill unwanted weeds.


The Carpet Wick Applicator is light weight and easy to use. It has a steel rotating drum that is covered with a synthetic carpet material - wetted by a 12-volt pump. The synthetic carpet holds the herbicide until transferred to the undesirable grasses and weeds. The drum turns in the opposite direction that the Weed Wiper is traveling to apply more herbicide directly to the unwanted weed. <MORE>

Cost Share Funds Available
     Cost Share assistance is available to landowners and tenants in North Carolina to help fund the cost of installing conservation practices to improve the state’s water quality.
     These measures include such things as no-till incentive payments, cover crops, cropland conversions (grass, trees, wildlife), grassed waterways, field borders, animal waste management systems, livestock fencing from critical areas, poultry litter storage facilities, mortality incinerators, water control structures, and many more. <MORE>

Troxler advises agribusinesses to prepare for hurricane season


RALEIGH – Hurricane season officially begins Sunday, with scientists predicting fewer storms than normal. But as Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says, it only takes one storm to ruin a farmer’s year. He is encouraging all farmers and agribusineses, such as food manufacturers, pesticide dealers and timber owners, to review their disaster plans now and to get ready for the season.


“No county in this state is immune to possible damage from a hurricane,” Troxler said. “Preparing for a hurricane is smart, and thinking through your emergency plan can help no matter what type of emergency strikes. A produce farm has very different needs than a livestock operation. Determining what your most pressing needs will be if you should lose power, or are at risk for flooding, can be the difference in salvaging a crop or saving livestock.” <MORE>

N.C. peach growers approve assessment


Funds will be used to improve peach research, marketing
RALEIGH — North Carolina peach growers approved an assessment that will fund research and marketing efforts. The assessment received a necessary two-thirds majority vote from eligible peach growers during a mail-in referendum in April.


The annual assessment will be based on the total number of peach trees per commercial orchard. Those who grow between 100 and 500 trees will be assessed $100. Growers with 501 to 2,500 trees will be assessed $250. Those who grow more than 2,500 trees will be assessed $350. <MORE>

Horse owners urged to vaccinate animals against mosquito-borne diseases

RALEIGH – It’s the beginning of mosquito season in North Carolina, which means it’s also time for equine owners to talk to their veterinarians about vaccinating animals against mosquito-borne diseases.

West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis are endemic across North Carolina and can cause illness or death in equine, but can be prevented with a sequence of two vaccines. Last year, there were two reported cases of WNV and 13 cases of EEE, but veterinarians expect that the actual number is higher.

“Now is the time to vaccinate against West Nile Virus and EEE,” State Veterinarian David Marshall said. “Mosquito breeding peaks in August, so starting the vaccination protocol now gives it time to take effect.” <MORE>

Grain Drills Available for Rent!
The Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District has two grain drills available for rent to Bladen and surrounding county farmers.
John Deere (1590) –



This is a 10’ wide no-till drill that is used to plant all small grain crops such as wheat, oats, and rye, as well as plant soybeans and most grass seeds. 








Great Plains (706NT) - This is a 7’ wide no-till drill that will plant all small grain crops. It will also plant grass seeds and native grasses, and can be used with smaller tractors.



The rental fee for either drill is $8.00 per acre, with a minimum charge of $50.00.  To assure availability, call the Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District office at (910) 862-3179, Ext. 3, or visit the office at 122 Powell-Melvin Ag Center, 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown.

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