NC Department of Agriculture

Environment
8:57 am
Fri December 12, 2014

A Tree's Life: From The North Carolina Mountains To Your Living Room

Trees of all sizes growing at the Smokey Holler Christmas Tree Farm in Alleghany County.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Christmas trees begin here, clinging to five-by-five foot patches of ground on the side of a soil-covered hunk of granite in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The slope dips down several hundred feet below where we’re standing. Fraser Firs of all shapes and sizes surrounded by Dutch white clover covers the landscape.

“Do you see why they call it Smokey Holler?” asks Della Deal.  “It’s a beautiful place up here.”

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Business & Economy
7:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Hurricane Arthur Damaged Hyde County Corn Crops

Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler tours Wilson Daughtry's crop damage in Hyde County.
Credit Brian Long

The path that Hurricane Arthur took last week hit an area of the state where a lot of corn is grown.  And several farmers will be affected.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and staff traveled by Forest Service plane to see the crop damage first hand.  Ag spokesman Brian Long says a lot of the damage was in Hyde County, known for growing corn.

“There are parts of Hyde County where you can just look and you would almost think you were somewhere in the Midwest, because it’s just is corn, and corn, and corn," said Long.

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Business & Economy
8:10 am
Tue November 26, 2013

The State Of The Turkey Industry In North Carolina

Woman sports her turkey hat at the 2013 Turkey Festival in Raeford, NC.
Credit Leoneda Inge

A lot of Thanksgiving dinners across the country will feature a turkey grown and processed right here in North Carolina.  Butterball is headquartered here and produces about 20-percent of the nation’s turkeys. 

But Butterball reports it’s coming up a little short this year with fresh orders. And in another part of the state, one of the largest turkey slaughter houses is shut down.

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Health
2:00 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Could N.C. Tomatoes Provide The Key To Stopping Salmonella?

N.C. State researchers are using North Carolina's tomato plants to understand how Salmonella affects crops.
Credit USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Researchers at North Carolina State University are searching for Salmonella in North Carolina's tomato crops.  The bacteria causes salmonellosis, a disease that can range from uncomfortable to deadly, and tomatoes in Florida and Virginia have been the sources of outbreaks. Despite North Carolina's close proximity and similar climate, local tomatoes have been safe from the pathogen. A team of scientists from N.C. State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is investigating why.

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Business & Economy
9:34 am
Thu August 1, 2013

House Of Raeford Cuts 1,000 Turkey Jobs

North Carolina is one of the top turkey production states in the country.
Credit Curt Gibbs

Nearly 1,000 workers at House of Raeford Farms slaughter plant in Hoke County will be officially out of jobs today.

It’s the end of an era for the town of Raeford. Some of the 950 workers at the turkey slaughter house will retire, some will be transferred to other House of Raeford poultry plants and cook facilities, and many will be jobless.

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Business & Economy
4:21 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Big China Tobacco Company Opens Office In Cary

A tobacco farmer in Rockingham County, NC.
Credit Jim Dollar via Flickr, Creative Commons

A Chinese tobacco company has announced plans to open its North America headquarters in North Carolina.  The state Agriculture Department has worked hard to bolster trade relations with China.  And it’s paid off.

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Environment
4:14 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Invasive Beetle Detected For First Time In NC Trees

Emerald ash borer found in Granville County
Credit NC Dept. of Agriculture

State agricultural officials have placed a quarantine on firewood from three counties due to a destructive insect infestation.  Pest control crews have found  evidence of a beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer for the first time in North Carolina.  It makes its home in ash trees and kills them over a period of two to three years.  The quarantine applies to any wood products made from ash trees in Granville, Person and Vance Counties. 

Phil Wilson of the state Agriculture Department says the bug spreads by flying from tree to tree or by lumber transportation.

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Business & Economy
7:19 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Syngenta Greenhouse: Think Cool Wear Shades

Sunflowers growing in Syngenta greenhouse in new RTP Advanced Crop Lab.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The state of North Carolina is heavy on Agriculture.  So it’s not odd to see greenhouses from the coast to the mountains.  But there’s a new greenhouse at Syngenta in Research Triangle Park that is said to be the only one of its kind in the world.  Dignitaries and leaders in biotechnology and agriculture were on-hand Friday for a tour of this state-of-the-art greenhouse and to celebrate the grand opening of Syngenta’s Advanced Crop Lab.

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Business & Economy
8:23 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Still A Little Cold And Wet For NC Crops

Acres of corn in Greene County during the 2012 season.
Credit Greene County Extension

The cold, damp weather so far this spring is causing problems for North Carolina farmers trying to get crops into the ground.  Farmers say they can deal with the rain because of the most recent drought, but the cold is a problem.

Roy Thagard is a Field Crop Agent at the Greene County Cooperative Extension Office.  He says farmers haven’t been able to get the soil weeded and prepared for planting corn and tobacco.  Thagard says the soil needs to be 55 to 60 degrees for plants to germinate or sprout.

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