Agri Leader

Ag News in Brief

Nominees sought for Florida AG-Vocate TALLAHASSEE - The Agriculture Institute of Florida is seeking nominations for its AG-Vocate Award, which recognizes an individual for his or her efforts to communicate effectively on behalf of the Florida agriculture industry. Candidates for the award must be affiliated with the state's agricultural industry either as a farmer, rancher, producer or grower, or as a representative of an affiliated industry. Their communication activities should be above and beyond the normal responsibilities of their position and have taken place between August 2012 and the present. Examples of activities could include working on a specific regulatory issue, blogging consistently about their operation or industry, or hosting on-farm days for the public or school groups.
The last day to nominate is Sept. 6. Complete information and entry forms are available at or by contacting Susan Howard at (407) 365-2035 or susan Grazing goats clean Capitol Hill cemetery WASHINGTON - More than 100 goats will be taking over Washington's Historic Congressional Cemetery to help clean up the landmark. The cemetery welcomed the grazing herd last Wednesday. The goats will graze 24 hours a day for six days to eliminate vines, poison ivy and weeds, while also "fertilizing the ground." The livestock will be penned outside of the burial areas. The cemetery is open from dawn to dusk. The cemetery says the use of goats will eliminate the need for harmful herbicides and will keep invasive species from killing large trees. The Congressional Cemetery was founded in the early 1800s and covers 35 acres on Capitol Hill. Thousands of people are buried at the cemetery, including former senators and House members. Tobacco supplier to make liquid nicotine RICHMOND, Va. - Tobacco leaf supplier Universal Corporation is launching a joint venture to produce liquid nicotine for the electronic cigarette industry. The Richmond, Va.-based company said its Virginia Tobacco Company subsidiary is joining botanical extraction company Avoca Inc. to create AmeriNic Inc. Universal says the new business will produce pharmacy-grade liquid nicotine in the U.S. using fully traceable and compliant tobaccos. Production is expected to begin before the end of 2013. CEO George Freeman III noted that the electronic cigarette industry is growing rapidly and that the company looks forward to being a reliable, high-quality supplier for the emerging market. N.H. fruit growers on alert for fly LONDONDERRY, N.H. - New Hampshire's fruit growers are on alert for a harmful new fruit fly that's been moving east across the United States. The Eagle-Tribune reports that the Asian spotted-wing drosophilia has been spotted in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties. It favors soft fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, grapes and peaches, and has been moving east from California since 2008. The University of New Hampshire estimates New Hampshire crop losses due to the fly were $1.5 million last year. Construction starts on $150M ethanol plant SPIRITWOOD, N.D. - Officials last week started construction on an ethanol plant in southeastern North Dakota in the works for two years. A ground-breaking ceremony was held Friday for Minnesota-based Great River Energy's Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plant at Spiritwood, The Jamestown Sun reported. The plant will cost about $150 million to build. Production is slated to begin in January 2015. The plant will employ about 36 people and will use about 23 million bushels of corn to produce about 65 million gallons of the alternative fuel each year.