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New fees to be implemented for NC poultry growers - North Carolina poultry growers who want to join the National Poultry Improvement Plan and receive a registration number will have to pay a $50 registration fee plus 10 cents per bird tested beginning Oct. 1. Officials say North Carolina’s poultry growers contribute more than $4 billion in cash receipts to the state’s economy and "we must be ever vigilant in our disease surveillance efforts.” More at our Farm News page>> Specialty pumpkins growing in popularity - Plump orange pumpkins are ripening in the field, scattered on the ground like so many harvest moons. In those same fields, you might also find white pumpkins, green pumpkins, striped pumpkins, miniature pumpkins and a host of other varieties that are growing in popularity. They have names like Cinderella, Cotton Candy and New Moon. Not only are they multi-colored, they are multi-purpose. More at our Farm News page>> USDA: Growing organic corn is more profitable for farmers - U.S. producers recently saw average returns of $307 per acre for conventional corn, compared with $557 per acre for organic corn. Although the number of acres planted to organic corn nearly tripled between 2001 and 2010, organic corn still accounts for less than 1 percent of total corn acres.More at our Farm News page>> Homeowners advised to follow label instructions when applying lawn fertilizer - Maryland Agriculture officials are reminding homeowners that fall is the best time to fertilize cool season grasses. To protect waterways from nutrient runoff, do not apply fertilizer near streams or if heavy rain is predicted. Lawn fertilizer now accounts for approximately 44 percent of the fertilizer sold in Maryland. More at our Farm News Page>>