Agriculture

Environment
4:33 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Record Rainfall Stunts Crop Growth Across The State

Heavy rain is affecting farm yields across the state.
Credit mystuart via Flickr, creative commons

Record rainfalls across much of North Carolina have resulted in poor crop growth. When there's too much moisture, root systems often don't get a chance to develop fully, and certain nutrients, like nitrogen, also tend to be depleted.

Carl Crozier, soil science professor and extension specialist at N.C. State, says it's a complex issue because of all the different types of soil in North Carolina.

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Science & Technology
10:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

What Happened To The Disease That Caused The Irish Potato Famine?

Potato late blight lesion
Credit Jean Ristaino, NC State University

New research reveals the disease that wiped out millions of potatoes and led to widespread famine in Ireland is still around, and it’s more virulent than ever.  A new study led by NC State University plant pathologist Jean Ristaino investigates the history of the fungus-like organism that caused the Irish potato famine and how its genome has evolved since it first showed up in Ireland in the 1800’s.

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The State of Things
11:14 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Why Are Honeybees Dying?

Honey Bees
Credit Clinton & Charles Robertson

The past year has been a bad one for America's honeybees, with commercial beekeepers reporting hive losses of up to 50 percent. Some blame the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder; others blame pesticides; and many scientists say we just don't know. 

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Politics & Government
9:29 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Senate Bill Seeks To Halt Outside Undercover Investigations

A snapshot from inside the Butterball processing facility in Hoke County,
Credit Mercy for Animals

WUNC's Gurnal Scott reports on a state Senate bill that seeks to stop outside undercover investigations at businesses.

A bill in the state Senate could put an end to secret videos seeking to expose shoddy business practices.  The N.C Commerce Protection Act would stop advocacy groups from getting hidden-camera evidence of crimes unbeknownst to employers. 

Mercy For Animals made one such video at a Butterball plant in Hoke County in 2011 that led to charges.  The group's lead investigator Matt Rice says the bill would go beyond just animal cruelty.

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Politics & Government
11:31 am
Wed May 22, 2013

NC Farmers Wait For Details Of Federal Farm Bill

A tobacco crop at Strickland Farms
Credit Leoneda Inge

Farmers in North Carolina and around the country are keeping their eyes on Washington, where Congress is crafting a new Farm Bill

The Senate's version cuts more than $2 billion in agricultural spending per year, but includes about $100 billion in subsides over the next five years.  President Obama has asked Senators to find more ways to save money, including cuts to a farm insurance program.

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Science & Technology
4:00 am
Thu May 9, 2013

NC State Uses Herbs And Spices To Clean Produce

N.C. State and University of Tennessee researchers are extracting oils from herbs and spices to use as a disinfectant for produce.
Credit NC Strawberry Association

Researchers at N.C. State say oils extracted from herbs and spices could act as a natural disinfectant for fruits and vegetables. 

A joint project with the University of Tennessee aims to find an alternative to chlorine used on produce grown for mass consumption. Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie is a horticultural science professor at N.C. State's research campus in Kannapolis.  She says pungent spices tend to be best at fighting harmful germs.

"They have a very distinct odor, like cinnamon, for instance," Perkins-Veazie says.

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The State of Things
11:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Exploring Gaps In America's Food System From The Farm To The Table

Black farmers protest at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 1997. Protesters alleged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) denied black farmers equal access to farm loans and assistance based on their race. North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford and 400 other black farmers filed the Pigford v. Glickman (Pigford I) class-action lawsuit against USDA in 1997. The USDA settled Pigford I in 1999.
Credit USDA photo by Anson Eaglin / flickr

A panel of experts discuss food justice

Starvation is often considered a problem distant from the American experience. But for many United States citizens, hunger is a way of life. And many of them live right here in North Carolinians.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 636,000 households in the state have been labeled “food insecure” within the past year. This means that over 17 percent of our families lack consistent access to nutritious food. Families hit hardest by food insecurity are Black, Latino and homes led by single mothers.

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Business & Economy
12:58 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Forum To Discuss State Of NC Agriculture

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
Credit www.ncagr.gov

Farmers and many of those they do business with will gather at the State Fairgrounds Thursday for the annual Ag Development Forum.  State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will begin his third term in office by discussing the state of the industry.  Ag Department spokesman Brian Long says the meeting will be about much more than just tending crops and animals.  It's about the process of getting the goods to your home.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Tue December 4, 2012

NC Agriculture Exports Hit Record $3.75 Billion

North Carolina Agriculture products are in growing demand around the world according to new numbers from the US Department of Agriculture.

The USDA reports North Carolina agriculture exports hit 3.75-billion dollars last year.  That makes the state 11th in the nation for overall ag exports.  The latest export numbers also set a record for North Carolina.  Peter Thornton is an International Marketing spokesman for the state ag department.

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State of Things
9:15 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Carolina Meat Conference

North Carolina has a significant number of local, niche and pasture based meat producers and consumers, but it lacks enough processors to make the farm to market meat supply chain run as smoothly as possible. On December 3rd and 4th, people involved in all aspects of the meat business in North Carolina will gather in Bermuda Run to work on streamlining the process during the Carolina Meat Conference.

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