The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that Virginia’s peanut yield is forecast to be 4,200 pounds per acre this year, up 200 pounds per acre from the previous month’s forecast. If realized, this would be a record yield. Production is estimated to be 84 million pounds, up 37 percent from last year. Producers are expected to harvest 20,000 acres in 2012.
Ever since I became the Commissioner of Agriculture two years ago and gained a broader view of agriculture throughout the entire state, I have noticed that Virginia really values its farmers. Of course agriculture is the state’s largest industry, and I’m sure that earns us some points right there. But I think there is a deep-seated appreciation of our farmers in Virginia and a realization of how much they contribute to our quality of life.
A few weeks ago the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other agricultural organizations encouraged citizens to take the $10 Buy Local Challenge: if each household in Virginia spent just $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, consumers would invest an additional $1.65 billion back into the local economy annually. That’s an [...]
The details of the 2012 farm bill are being ironed out in Congress now, as much of the current law in the 2008 farm bill expires in 2012. While the farm bill does include commodity program support, most of the funds from the bill are allocated to nutrition and food assistance programs such as the [...]
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday that agricultural exports from Virginia reached an all-time high level in 2011, surpassing the previous record set in 2009. The governor made the announcement during his keynote remarks at the Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond. The Commonwealth exported a record $2.35 billion in agricultural products in 2011, a [...]
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Tuesday the distribution of $1.2 million in farmland preservation grants from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to 13 Virginia localities. This is a significant increase from the $100,000 available last fiscal year for state matching funds. Localities must use the grant monies to preserve farmland within their [...]
Seven lives were reported lost due to farmwork-related accidents in 2011—one more than in 2010. Tractor overturns accounted for two deaths, tractor or other equipment runovers accounted for two more, and other tractor or equipment incidents resulted in three, according to unofficial statistics from Virginia Farm Bureau. The organization had no record of 2011 farm [...]
This year has been a year of more ups than downs for Virginia farmers. Corn, soybeans,cattle and hog prices have all been good this year, despite a recent decline in some. “Farmers received record-high prices for corn,” said Jonah Bowles, agricultural market analyst for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. The 52-week high for corn was $7.80 [...]