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Instructions for Upcoming Peach Referendum
What: North Carolina Peach Growers are being asked to vote for the implementation of a new assessment on commercial growers to provide funds to support critical work for the improvement of the peach industry in North Carolina. These funds will be managed by the NC Peach Growers’ Society. The annual assessment would be based on the grower’s number of trees: Tier 1- growers with between 100 and 500 trees, $100. Tier 2- 501 to 2,500 trees, $250. Tier 3- more than 2,500 trees, to be assessed at $350.
When: The referendum will be held April 1, 2014, through a mail in referendum supported by NCDA&CS. Growers should return the ballot by April 11, 2014 to: NCDA&CS Agricultural Statistics Division, P.O. Box 27767 Raleigh, NC 27611. A return self addressed stamped envelope will be included with the ballot. <MORE>

FSA Celebrates American Agriculture Producers on National Ag Day – March 25th
(Elizabethtown) – March 20, 2014-- USDA North Carolina Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Bob Etheridge encourages everyone to take a moment to appreciate the hard working farmers and ranchers in North Carolina on March 25, National Ag Day. This year's theme is “Agriculture:  365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”
USDA is proud to stand behind the producers who rise before dawn 365 days a year in order to put food on the table for 7 billion people.
“We recognize the importance of agriculture and hope that the recent passage of a new Farm Bill is a sign that 2014 will be a ‘banner year for the industry," said Etheridge. There is no better way to show our support for farmers and ranchers than to begin implementing a new Farm Bill - legislation that will provide farmers, ranchers and consumers alike supportive results." <MORE>

Got to Be NC Festival seeks antique tractors, vendors, musicians
Festival to be held May 16-18 at State Fairgrounds


RALEIGH — Space is still available for farm-equipment hobbyists, musicians and food vendors wanting to take part in the Got to Be NC Festival May 16-18 at the State Fairgrounds.
Organizers are looking for collectors of antique tractors and farm equipment to join a display of more than 1,000 pieces of machinery. Tractors in working order also can participate in the daily tractor parade through the fairgrounds. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required. <MORE>

Board sets 2014 N.C. boll weevil assessment at $1 per acre
          RALEIGH -- The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication  Foundation of North Carolina has set the 2014 boll weevil assessment at $1 per acre  of cotton. This amount is 30 cents more than the 2013 assessment and reflects  the foundation’s support of a new National Cotton Council initiative for a boll  weevil buffer zone in south Texas.
            In  addition, the fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage in  North Carolina for any re- introduction of the boll weevil and to respond  promptly with eradication treatments if necessary. The boll weevil was  eradicated in the state in 1986.
            “Cotton  remains a significant crop for North Carolina, and our cotton growers want to  keep the boll weevil as far away from the state as possible, which is why the  National Cotton Council’s initiative has the support of both the N.C. Cotton Producers Association and the N.C. Farm Bureau,” said Agriculture Commissioner  Steve Troxler. “Overall, the boll weevil assessment is an excellent investment  for growers, ensuring any spot re-introductions of boll weevils in this state  are identified and dealt with quickly.” <MORE>

ECP Signup Period March 3rd thru April 11, 2014


As a result of the winter storm experienced throughout Bladen County February 11, 2014 through February 13, 2014. The Bladen County FSA Emergency Board in consultation with the County Committee has requested USDA Emergency Conservation Program Assistance. The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) helps farmers and ranchers to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters by providing cost-share assistance on authorized ECP practices with eligible producers. The two practices requested for implementation are EC-1 Removing Debris from Farmland and EC-3 Restoring Permanent Fence. In order to be eligible for assistance several eligibility criteria must be met.  Please contact your FSA Office in Bladen County at the Powell-Melvin Agriculture Service Center at 450 Smith Circle Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337.

Wheat needs nitrogen in spring; submit samples now


RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reminds growers that properly timed spring nitrogen applications are essential to the growth and development of wheat. Assessing nitrogen needs now will optimize yield later.


To decide how much spring nitrogen to apply, wheat specialists advise submitting two samples of wheat leavesto the department’s Agronomic Services Division for testing. One sample will be used to measure plant nutrient content, the other to measure biomass. Both tests are necessary to obtain the most precise recommendation. The fee is $5 per sample for N.C. residents and $25 per sample for residents of other states.  <MORE>

New NCDA&CS regional agronomist for southeastern counties


RALEIGH — Robeson County native Georgia Love has been named regional agronomist serving growers in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Love replaces agronomist Rick Morris, who retired in January.


Love is a graduate of N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in crop science. She previously served as a regional agronomist for counties in the area of Sanford. Prior to joining the department, she advised Robeson County growers for nine years, first as a field crop agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and then as an extension associate with N.C. State University.
Regional agronomists provide advice on crop fertilization, nutrient management, lime needs, soil testing, plant tissue analysis, use of animal wastes and composts, nematode assay, and testing of source water and nutrient solutions.
Growers interested in arranging a consultation with Love, can call 910-690-0270 or email at georgia.love@ncagr.gov.

2014 Bladen County crop acreage reporting dates

   In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Bladen County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline.

   The following 2014 acreage reporting dates are applicable for Bladen County:

   May 15: Cabbage, fresh market beans, potatoes.
   May 31: NAP covered nursery crops.
   July 15: Tobacco, corn, cotton, CRP, grain sorghum, peanuts, processing beans, soybeans, and all other crops and land uses.
   Sept. 15: Cabbage PP2, fresh market and Processed Beans PP2
   Sept. 30: Aquaculture

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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