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Agriculture

New Meat Processing Plant Brings Opportunities

AUBURN, Ala.–California-based restaurant industry supplier Golden State Foods’ plan to build a meat processing plant in Opelika, Ala. is a step in reaching the goals of the Alabama Strategic Plan for Agriculture. The strategic plan has a  a goal of expanding agriculture-related jobs by 58,000 and adding $7 billion to the state economy by 2020. With completion expected in fall 2016, the  plant will contribute ... Read More »

Oyster Farming: A Rising Trend in Alabama

Oysters not only fulfill people’s seafood cravings, they also provide a valuable natural resource for the environment and economy in Alabama. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the average contribution of traditional oyster harvest to the Alabama economy is estimated to be $3 million per year. There are currently eight commercial oyster farms and this summer Alabama will also ... Read More »

Cool Weather May Extend Strawberry Season

Relentless bands of rain pounded strawberry crops, threatening to leave them underwater and forcing harvest to begin several weeks late. A cold, cloudy wet spring has had strawberry farmers concerned about this spring’s crop, but now sunny, drier and still cooler temperatures may help extend the season. Chilton Research and Experiment Center Director Jim Pitts said the cooler weather folks ... Read More »

True Armyworms on the March In Alabama

True Armyworm Damage in Pasture

True armyworms are another problem that Alabama’s farmers did not need. Cold weather and heavy rains delayed many farmers from planting their row crops in a timely manner. Now, an entomologist with Alabama Extension says true armyworms have been identified in two northeast Alabama counties. “The cool, wet spring created ideal circumstances for these caterpillars,” said Dr. Kathy Flanders. “We ... Read More »

Enhancing Sustainability Options for Farmers

Weather is one of farming’s greatest challenges. But Dr. Brenda Ortiz, a corn and grain crops specialist with Alabama Extension, says farmers’ abilities to manage production risks like drought or heavy rains are improving. “Many of the farmers who are leading the way in the use of risk resilient practices learned about them at Southeast Climate Extension workshops and outreach ... Read More »

Alabama Extension Hosting Deep South Stocker Conference in August

Stocker Cattle

Alabama will host the seventh annual Deep South Stocker Conference Aug. 6-7 in Montgomery, Alabama. The conference is targeting cattle producers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Dr. Kim Mullenix, who is part of Alabama Extension’s beef cattle team, said that producers need to develop some specific management techniques to run a successful stocker operation. “All three of these states are ... Read More »

Strawberry Fields Forever, Well Soon

This spring has been marked with some unseasonably cold weather, but the strawberry crop has not been delayed says an expert in the field. Read More »

Plants All Homeowners Can Manage

Crepe myrtle

AUBURN, Ala.-As spring approaches, many homeowners are looking to brighten up their homes with ornamental plants for the season. Not every plant requires high maintenance and a “green thumb.” Mike McQueen, a regional horticulture agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, gives five plants all homeowners can manage. “These plants have many benefits to homeowners. From an outdoor perspective plant ... Read More »

Crop Outlook: Weather Affects Numbers

photo by: shutterstock.com/archerixs

Following a cold, wet winter in most parts of Alabama, producers are stepping back to re-evaluate plans for the growing season. With planting delayed in North Alabama and the Tennessee Valley after heavy rains, and planting delayed in the Wiregrass with no rain, Alabama Cooperative Extension Economist Max Runge said weather has had an impact on planting this season, as it ... Read More »

Better Cattle Market Prices Finally

The beef market skyrocketed after a drought forced farmers to liquidate millions of cattle in the United States, significantly reducing beef supplies.  In addition, beef demand has increased across the nation.  That means American cattle farmers have enjoyed a year where beef prices are finally getting them paid for what they do. “I feel good about the cattle prices being ... Read More »