AGRICULTURE

In Pittsylvania County, in the heart of Southside tobacco country, farmer Robert Mills’ greenhouse is full of seedlings ready to be transplanted.Mills, however, is uncertain about whether he should put them into the ground.“We have to make a commitment as to whether we’re going to plant any of these...
By Bradley DunsmoreAs the second largest agricultural county in Virginia, our farmers' livelihoods are dependent on the land. They want to do everything in their power to implement conservation practices that protect their land and the Chesapeake Bay.For years, our farmers have voluntarily installed conservation practices that are making...
Virginia lawmakers cleared residents to smoke industrial hemp Monday, though they say they didn’t really understand why anyone would want to.Technically, the fibrous plant is already legal under federal law, but Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, said he wanted to clear up any confusion about the smokable version, which looks...
By Macy Pressley/ Capital News ServiceCountless Virginians remember biting into the custardy sweetness of a pawpaw, the peculiar combination of mango and banana filling their mouths as the drops of juice dribbled down their chins, the perfect treat for a sweltering late August afternoon. These memories might be honored with...
By Wayne F. Pryor The Jan. 29 commentary “Setting a deadline for farm conservation practices would be a major step for Virginia water quality” might describe a bold stride. But for Virginia’s farmers it feels like a betrayal of trust. For years, farmers, conservation groups and soil and water conservation districts have worked diligently to address...
CHRISTIANSBURG — As the second year of commercial hemp begins in Virginia, growers face regulatory uncertainty and a rapidly evolving market.Farmers are still processing the hemp they grew in the 2019 season, which marked the first year that people could legally grow hemp in the United States. Plenty of...
Virginia farmers last year saw big bumps in cotton thanks to favorable weather, but soybeans and tobacco suffered as a result of the China-U.S. trade war.The commonwealth produced 22 percent more cotton in 2019 than it did in 2018, according to numbers released by the Virginia Department of Agriculture...
Virginia Beach Del. Barry Knight’s milk bill cleared its first hurdle Wednesday afternoon when the House Agriculture Subcommittee voted 7-1 to pass it on for consideration to the larger Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee.The measure, which defines milk as “the lacteal secretion, practically free of colostrum, obtained by...
Appalachian banana. Hillybilly mango. Quaker delight. Call the pawpaw by any name you like, but if one House of Delegates member has her way, make sure you also call it Virginia’s state fruit.Native to Virginia and growing mainly in forests, pawpaws have been enjoying an unexpected moment in the sun....
Which comes first, chicken farms or the public water supply?On Friday the state signaled it ranks a sustainable aquifer above concerns about poultry industry costs when the State Water Control Board unanimously voted to require 45 major Eastern Shore chicken farms to look at the shallow Columbia aquifer instead...