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Budget cuts could hurt crop research efforts

Posted February 22, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— North Carolina's population is growing while farmland is shrinking. That means farmers must find ways to produce more on less land. However, a tight state budget could hamper those efforts.

"The problems are still coming at us, though. We need more kinds of research that we do here, just to keep up with the various challenges we have,” said Dr. Barclay Poling, with North Carolina State University.

 Budget cuts might hurt crop research efforts

WRAL talked with Poling at the state's agricultural research station near Clayton. He said scientists and farmers are working together at 18 research stations across the state to find new ways to improve crops. But tough times are raising concerns that such work could be hampered by state budget cuts.

"The research stations are the seed corn for agriculture in North Carolina," State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said.

Troxler said the state's farmers are trying to keep up with the population boom by finding new ways to meet rising demand.

"We as farmers have to become more efficient, and the only way we can become more efficient is through research,” Troxler said.

Troxler is working with others to develop a plan for the research stations. It will be sent to the state Legislature by May 1.

"What we would like to see happen with the research stations is that they are modernized, so they are what they need to be for the future,” Troxler said.

Farmers aren't the only people who benefit from the research programs. The state's farms also donate fresh produce to food banks.

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  • ThinkChick Feb 23, 2009

    Over 90% of the budget is untouchable due to corrections, human services (welfare/medicaid) and education. That is the most misleading thing. They claim they cannot cut the handouts (corrections is part of securing us and a US consitutional imperative)...and now Pres O and Gov P want to create some more!

  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 23, 2009

    Is not every cut going to hurt something? This in a nutshell is the problem. For every item slated for a cut, there is some group advocating for it NOT to be cut. Who then makes the decisions? The Governor? Maybe, if it doesn't interfere with her vacation plans. The Legislature? They're only in Raleigh 3 days a week while they collect per diem for 5. And at this point all they've done is ask for about $400Million in ADD'L spending!