Agriculture

Tennessee Forestry Commission Meeting Set for Sept. 5

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 | 04:01 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet Sept. 5 at 8:30 a.m. Central time in the Bruer Building conference room at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville.

The agenda includes a review of applications and the process for conducting interviews for the State Forester/Assistant Commissioner position, which recently became vacant due to retirement. The State Forester/Assistant Commissioner has statewide responsibility for planning, directing and implementing programs and services of the Division of Forestry. Working with the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Tennessee Forestry Commission is responsible for recommending three names for consideration for appointment by the Governor.

The meeting is open to the public. Individuals interested in addressing the commission should plan to arrive prior to the start of the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.

Tennessee Forestry Commission Meeting Set for July 31

Friday, July 20, 2012 | 03:17 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet July 31 at 8:30 a.m. Central time in the Bruer Building conference room at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville.

The agenda includes a review and approval of previous meeting minutes, election of officers, a review of the Division of Forestry’s current budget and proposed FY 2014 budget, an update on the State Forester position search, a discussion of human resources guidelines and electronic meeting policy, and staff updates and reports.

2012 Tennessee Farmland Legacy Conference Set for Nov. 1 - 2

Thursday, July 19, 2012 | 01:26 pm

NASHVILLE - The 2012 Tennessee Farmland Legacy Conference “Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Farms” will be held Nov. 1 at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee.

Nov. 1 will be a day of information, networking, questions and answers from professionals in the field of farmland preservation, farm and estate planning, land and community planning, and more. Nov. 2 will be optional tours to a Century Farm in the area.

This conference will benefit farmers, landowners, city and county planning officials, elected leaders, community planners, and others who are inspired to help preserve and protect farmland in our state. General and breakout sessions and panel discussions with well-known speakers and experts on a variety of topics will offer invaluable resources, information and knowledge to Tennessee landowners, farmers, community planners and officials.

Tennessee Beef Promotion Board to Meet

Thursday, July 19, 2012 | 11:19 am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Beef Promotion Board will meet July 20 at 10 a.m. Central time at the offices of the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, located at 530 Brandies Circle, Ste. A in Murfreesboro, TN. The agenda includes a discussion of various organizational and administrative matters.

The meeting is open to the public. Individuals interested in addressing the committee should plan to arrive prior to the start of the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.

Tennessee State Parks Lift Temporary Ban on Backcountry Campfires

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | 04:25 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Parks system has lifted a temporary ban on backcountry campfires in state parks, which was put into place June 29, 2012, due to dry weather conditions and the potential for wildfire hazards.  Today’s announcement is consistent with the Department of Agriculture’s recent action to lift some of the county burn bans throughout the state.  For an up-to-date list of the Department of Agriculture’s current county-by-county fire bans, please visit www.burnsafetn.org/

State Viticulture Advisory Board to Meet July 31

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | 09:26 am

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board is meeting July 31 at 10 a.m. Central time at DelMonaco Winery and Vineyards, located at 600 Lance Drive in Baxter, Tenn.

The agenda includes a report on the 2012 grape crop and recent Sunset legislative hearing to re-authorize the board. There will also be a discussion of the Biennial Viticulture Plan, which is required by the state to help identify opportunities and challenges for developing the grape growing industry.

State Soil Conservation Committee to Meet

Monday, July 16, 2012 | 07:41 am

NASHVILLE – The State Soil Conservation Committee will meet July 25 at 3:30 p.m. Central time at the UT West Tennessee Research and Education Center, located at 605 Airways Boulevard in Jackson, Tenn. The agenda includes a discussion of the committee’s statutory authority, reports from other agricultural agencies, a review of training and guidance needs for soil conservation districts, and an update on 2013 soil conservation district elections and appointments.

Despite Wilting Weather, Some Great Produce Still “Hot” at Local Markets

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | 01:16 pm
Fresh Tomato Garden Salsa
Fresh Tomato Garden Salsa

NASHVILLE - It’s been hot, lately. Have you noticed? Tennessee’s crops have noticed, too, hit with a deadly combination of record heat and drought conditions. In such widespread and long lasting situations, many summer fruits and vegetables stop growing and stop producing blossoms or fruits, even if the plant survives.

After an early and auspicious start, Tennessee’s sweet corn has all vanished at local farm markets. Other crops anticipated for later in the season, like melons, may never make much of an appearance at all.

As if stress and resulting damage to crops is not enough, extreme high temperatures make harvesting remaining crops more difficult. Worker safety is a concern, as well as the shelf life of produce that’s been picked. Harvesting very early or late in the day lessens heat stress for both plants and persons. Getting harvests out of orchards, fields and vineyards to cooler shaded areas to reduce field heat accumulation is even more important.

Haslam Executive Order Suspends Hay Transportation Rules

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | 11:21 am

Regulations eased to help farmers handle drought

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced an executive order in response to drought conditions and extreme heat impacting Tennessee farmers that allows haulers of hay to carry larger loads as long as they observe other safety requirements.

The order allows for an increase in gross vehicle weight to 95,000 pounds, not exceeding 20,000 pounds per axle load, for semi-truck/trailers. The order also increases the height of trailer loads to 13 feet, 6 inches and the width to a maximum of 14 feet during daylight hours. The increase in width allows haulers to transport standard six- to seven-foot round hay bales side by side, increasing the capacity being hauled per truck without a permit.

EAB Quarantine Expanded to Greene, Campbell and Cocke Counties in East Tennessee

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | 11:51 am

NASHVILLE – Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees, has been found in Greene, Campbell and Cocke counties. These areas are all adjacent to counties already under an EAB quarantine. The identification was made recently and has been confirmed by USDA.

“The spring, summer Emerald Ash Borer surveys are in full swing to determine the extent of the infestation,” said Gray Haun, TDA Plant Certification Administrator. “We will be working closely with federal officials and other stakeholders to take steps to limit its spread when found and protect our forest resources and urban landscapes.”

EAB attacks only ash trees. It is believed to have been introduced into the Detroit, Mich. area 15 to 20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has killed millions of ash trees across several states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.