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NC strawberry referendum to be held during Southeast Strawberry Expo in November

RALEIGH — North Carolina strawberry growers will hold a referendum to decide whether to increase the current strawberry assessment during the Southeast Strawberry Expo in Pinehurst Nov. 17-19.

Started in 1989, the strawberry assessment is used to advance strawberry research and marketing to improve the industry. Dexter Hill, strawberry marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says the funds are vital to research in the region.

“Funds collected through this assessment go directly to research and marketing efforts,” Hill said. “The funds also are leveraged with other resources, such as matching grants, to maximize their impact for the strawberry industry in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast.”  <MORE>

USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Key Dates for New 2014 Farm Bill Safety Net Programs

USDA announced key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and producers need to know:
• Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015: Land owners may visit their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres.
• Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015: Producers make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years. <MORE>

FSA to Discuss New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk

The 2014 Farm Bill established new programs to help farmers manage risk due to events beyond their control.  Two of these new programs are Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).  Each of these programs offers farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in prices and/or revenues.  Farmers will need to choose which of these two programs offer the best safeguard for their farming operation.

Farmers can hear the details of these programs and find out important dates by attending one of the following meetings:

October 21, 2014 – Duplin County Agriculture Center, 165 Agriculture Drive, Kenansville, NC 28349
October 28, 2014 – Live Stock Arena, 1175 Kingsboro Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27801
October 29, 2014 – Stanly County Agri-Civic Center, 26032 Newt Road, Albemarle, NC 28001
October 30, 2014 – Guilford County Agricultural Center, 3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro, NC 27405
All meetings will begin at 6:00pm with dinner and will end at 8:00pm.

Farmland Preservation workshops to be held across the state

RALEIGH – The N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund will hold six workshops across the state for those interested in protecting local agricultural lands. The ADFP Trust Fund will be collaborating with the state USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service staff to host these workshops.
The Farmland Preservation workshops target non-profit conservation organizations and county agencies. Farmers, landowners and others interested in the preservation of working lands are also encouraged to attend. The workshops are highly recommended for all past, present or potential future recipients of federal and/or state grants associated with farmland preservation. The workshops are free and open to the public.

        Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following dates:
•       Oct. 28 – Haywood County Center, 589 Raccoon Road, Waynesville;
•       Oct. 29 – Catawba County Center, 1175 S. Brady Ave., Newton;
•       Nov. 5 – Guilford County Center, 3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro;
•       Nov. 6 – Richmond County Center, 123 Caroline St., Rockingham;
•       Nov. 12 – Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, 2900 N.C. Highway 125 South, Williamston;
•       Nov. 13 – Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, University of Mount Olive, 652 R.B. Butler Drive, Mount Olive;

For more information and to register, go to www.ncadfp.org/FarmlandPreservationWorkshops.htm.

Peak-season soil fee period announced for 2014-2015

RALEIGH – Growers and home gardeners or landscapers are reminded to send in their soil samples to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agronomic Services Lab by Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. to avoid upcoming peak-season fees.

There will be a $4 fee per sample for those received during the lab’s peak-processing time of Nov. 25 through March 31. Samples received before Nov. 25 or after March 31 will be processed without a fee. Most soil samples for home grounds and gardens can be collected April through November when the fee is not in effect.
“We implemented the peak-season fee in 2013 to better manage the processing of soil samples and help ensure growers get their information in time to plan for the upcoming season,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We found that many people turned in their samples earlier, spreading the workload over more weeks and lessening a late rush of samples that created backlogs for testing in the lab.” <MORE>

Farmers should have corn tested for aflatoxin

RALEIGH — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging farmers to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food.
Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and livestock.

“We have six drop-off locations at research stations across the state to make it easy for farmers to submit samples,” Troxler said. “I encourage farmers to take advantage of our testing service to protect feed and food against this mold.” <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>

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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