NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

NCDA&CS

The North Carolina State Fair is getting ready to open its gates Thursday. The 11-day event features rides, exhibits, livestock, and entertainment. The State Fair's Brian Long says there's always something new on the food front.

"We have a massive double caramel apple that's called a 'double decker doozy' that's been covered in chocolate and other candy and what not," explains Long.

Frozen yogurt shops are being inspected by the state.
shadeofmelon via Flickr, Creative Commons

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s high season for frozen yogurt shops around the state.  But the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is urging customers to be wary: what you pay for might not be what you get. Many yogurt shops determine price based on the weight of the yogurt and toppings, but they are required to subtract the weight of the cup or package first (which is called the tare weight). According to Jerry Butler, NCDA & CS Weight and Measures program manager, not every shop is aware of that.

A North Carolina hog house being kept cool by large fans.
Bob Nichols, USDA NRCS

A fatal swine disease is striking the nation's hog industry. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus or PED is usually deadly for baby pigs. Its symptoms resemble dysentery, and it's spread through bodily secretions. Tom Ray, director of Livestock Health Programs for the state department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says so far, there have been only four confirmed cases in North Carolina. He expects the impact for farmers and the state's economy to be significant.

A state audit has found that the Department of Agriculture assessed only two fines following thousands of safety violations involving liquefied petroleum.

Jeff Tiberii: Liquefied Petroleum, or L.P., gas is used in grills, lighters and even to heat homes. During a 12-month period, Department of Agriculture inspectors wrote nearly 7,500 safety violations, but levied just two fines. State Auditor Beth Wood says violations ranged from storage plants, to dangerous pipes in homes. She says inspectors should have assessed much more in penalties.

North Carolina's farm economy is one of the biggest industries in the state. That's one of the reasons for a forum today on trends that affect the agriculture economy. State officials say farm safety, exports and drought will be some of the topics. Brian Long is with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He says there's another problem that doesn't get as much attention.

A state audit has found that the Department of Agriculture assessed only two fines following thousands of safety violations involving liquefied petroleum.

Liquefied Petroleum – or L.P. – gas is used in grills, lighters and even to heat homes. During a 12-month period, Department of Agriculture inspectors wrote nearly 7,500 safety violations, but levied just two fines. State Auditor Beth Wood says violations ranged from storage plants, to dangerous pipes in homes. She says inspectors should have assessed much more in penalties.