AGRICULTURE

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...
Virginia has a novel new approach to meeting its water quality goals: moving chicken waste around the state.As the 2025 deadline for Chesapeake Bay cleanup approaches, the commonwealth is vastly expanding a program that transports poultry litter — a product that includes not only fowl excrement but also leftover...
Michael McConkey can't keep enough pawpaw trees in stock at his landscaping business in Afton.“There’s a small renaissance going on with it. There are an awful lot of backyard growers,” McConkey said. He's stocked the fruit tree at his store, Edible Landscaping, since the business opened in 1987. And as...
President Donald Trump's trade war with China threatens profits for Virginia's soybean farmers, a group that includes Gov. Ralph Northam, he said during a financial update to lawmakers.Northam, speaking at a presentation to the Joint Money Committee, owns and leases about 50 acres of farm land on the Eastern...
Virginia’s amber waves of grain are short 40,000 acres this year thanks to an unusually wet past year.Compared to a record 19.4 million acres of land nationwide that couldn’t be planted due to weather or natural disaster, that’s a drop in the bucket. But it’s also about eight times...
The frequently asked questions page on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' website says it best."Feral hogs are four-legged ecological disasters."Earlier this week the “30-50 feral hogs” meme swarmed the internet, an unexpected by-product of the nationwide gun debate.But in many parts of the country, including Virginia,...
The cause of the seven cows’ deaths wasn’t immediately clear.All of the animals died between late summer and fall of 2017 in Albemarle County, the prosperous, semi-agricultural county that surrounds the city of Charlottesville. Another cow on the property, sick but alive, was found with signs of anemia, weakness...