September 11, 2017
Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
Horticulture producers and industry leaders should mark their calendars for the Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Conference and Trade Show Nov. 16-17 in Clanton. Registration opens Sept. 29 at afvga.org.
-Mac Higginbotham, AFVGA director
Hay & Forage
Entries for the Southeastern Hay Contest are due Sept. 21. Seven individual category winners will be awarded cash prizes. The overall winner will receive $1,000 plus use of a Massey Ferguson rake or mower for one season. Entries are $22 per sample and must be submitted in coordination with a local Extension agent. In the contest’s 13-year history, Alabama has never won. Visit sehaycontest.com for full contest rules and entry details.
-Nate Jaeger, division director
For the first time since 1992, U.S. pork is slated to enter the Argentine market. This agreement could increase U.S. pork producers’ market by $10 million annually. All fresh, chilled and frozen pork are eligible for export. Soon, Argentine food safety officials will conduct on-site verification of the U.S. meat inspection system.
-Guy Hall, division director
Soybean farmers have a new customer — Goodyear. The company’s Assurance WeatherReady tire features a soy-based rubber compound, bringing forward another market opportunity for soybean oil. It will be offered in a wide range of sizes this month.
-Carla Hornady, division director
The Alabama Catfish Producers state committee met Aug. 31 in Greensboro, where they discussed the Bama’s Best Catfish Restaurant Contest and planned for catfish promotions at the Sunbelt Ag Expo and Ag Roundup. The committee was briefed on Auburn University and USDA efforts to control catfish losses from aeromonas. The committee also funded a request to explore new marketing ideas for “big fish” not sold in premium markets.
-Mitt Walker, division director
Growers should start checking peanuts to determine optimum maturity dates for harvest. Pod blast tests are available Tuesdays and Fridays in September and October from 8 a.m. to noon at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center. This management tool can add 3-5 points on the grading scale.
-Caleb Bristow, division director