Whitetail Deer and Wildlife Consulting in North Carolina

Scottie Morris Whitetail Deer and Wildlife Consulting in North CarolinaGrowing whitetail deer and managing a farm can be a daunting task for a new land owner. Our referral network (county dependent) of qualified wildlife managers offers turnkey solutions for all aspects of wildlife management from food plots and deer stands to duck impoundments.

Scottie Morris: Scottie has been an avid hunter and outdoorsman for over 40 years and featured on the front of Carolina Sportsman and noted on many other platforms and social media as one of the top “big buck” hunters and managers in the state. Scottie has over 30 years of experience in wildlife and land management and can turn your farm into a wildlife paradise. Contact Scottie today at 336-504-2056.

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Farm Bill 2023: Up for Renewal 

Farm Bill 2023: Up for Renewal Farm Bill 2023: Up for Renewal

For many of us not involved in the farming and livestock industry, the term Farm Bill might sound like a set of policies that really don’t pertain to us, or at least don’t have any direct bearing on our lives. However, given the fact that we all eat, we all think about how food is grown or raised, and we certainly all think about the prices we pay at the grocery store, the Bill really does touch our lives in multiple ways, as consumers.  

What is the Farm Bill? 

The Farm Bill – legislation that is reviewed every five years by Congress – deals with national agricultural issues. It not only covers programs concerning agriculture and the natural resources that go into growing crops, but it has grown to establish policy in the areas of forestry, crop insurance, and rural development, and in the broader areas of conservation and nutrition.  

Some of the more interesting of the 12 chapters, or ‘titles,’ of the Farm Bill are these:  

  • Title 1 – Commodities covers income support and pricing guidance for farmers who grow non-perishable crops such as soybeans, wheat, rice, and corn. Dairy products are included in this Title as well.  
  • Title 2 – Conservation. This Title has to do with the programs pertaining to farmers’ conservation efforts. 
  • Title 4 – Nutrition covers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (once known as food stamps) as well as several additional programs geared toward low-income Americans.  
  • Title 9 – Energy. The Energy Title governs the growing and processing of crops for biofuel and helps farmers and ranchers who participate in renewable energy systems. 
  • Title 10 – Horticulture. This Title is all about funding research and infrastructure for growers of agricultural and horticultural crops, including organic farming and certification.  
  • Title 11 – Crop Insurance. This Title benefits both farmers and private crop insurance companies by providing them subsidies to protect against losses in yield or crop revenue.  
  • Title 12 – Miscellaneous. This comprehensive Title covers areas of advocacy in a variety of areas including livestock health, agricultural labor safety, veteran farmers, and socially disadvantaged farmers.  

Several areas of agricultural policy fall outside the guidelines of the Farm Bill, since they come under the jurisdiction of other committees in Congress, including the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, irrigation water rights, farm and food workers’ rights, renewable fuels standards, and some pesticide laws.  

Members of Congress who draft the farm bill include a committee in each Chamber: The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutricion and Forestry and the House Committee on Agriculture.   

History of the Farm Bill 

The history of the Farm Bill is an interesting one. In the early 1900s, following years of farming prosperity after WWI and crop prices plummeting over the next decade, Congress passed various laws to regulate crop prices, but those efforts were futile as the US President at the time – President Coolidge – vetoed them. Once the Depression hit in 1929, during which crop prices fell to less than a third of what they had been, President Roosevelt’s New Deal program was established to help farmers out. And in 1938, Congress passed legislation that the program would be renewed automatically every five years. 

As Americans suffered from real hunger and malnourishment during this period, the food stamp program was also created, which ended up helping over 20 million Americans. 20 years later, under President Kennedy, the 1964 Food Stamp Act was passed and became a permanent program. 

The 2018 Farm Bill 

At the outset, the Farm Bill of 2018 was estimated to cost around $428 billion over its five-year period. While 75% of the funding was designated to nutrition programs, there are three additional major entitlement programs – commodity, crop insurance, and conservation – as well as another 1% covering programs that are vital for some such as the Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO) program, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), the Specialty Crop Blog Grant Program (SCBGP) and the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP).  

How the Process of “Reauthorization” Works 

The process of reviewing legislation and putting new programs into effect every five years is called ‘reauthorization.’ At the start, each committee – House or Senate – drafts its own version of the new Bill, followed by debates, amendments and votes within each Chamber. The two Bills are then combined in a process involving leaders from each committee, and then each Chamber votes on the Final Bill. Once the President applies his signature, it becomes law.  

The next step, of course, is allocating funds for all the various programs covered by the Farm Bill. Entitlement programs receive a guaranteed amount of money each year – SNAP, LAMP, etc. – but other programs are funded on a discretionary basis, which means the amount going toward each area differs year to year based on the decisions of the Appropriations Committee.  

Highlights of the 2023 Farm Bill 

These days, farmers are facing serious issues such as shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and a series of severe weather events that have had a true effect on their incomes.  

Some of the areas which are of particular interest in the passage of the 2023 Farm Bill will include these pivotal topics –  

  • Commodity Program – Some of the reference prices for major commodities – important in that they trigger payments to farmers – are outdated. Some propose that reference prices would be based on a margin basis or breakeven point rather than gross revenue. 
  • The Conservation Reserve Program is suppering from low enrollment as high food prices and supply chain interruptions are stealing the spotlight. Potential solutions include new cost-sharing programs designed to help farmers implement these practices and assist in funding costs of transition. 
  • Agricultural research is underfunded in certain areas including climate change, food security and safety, and mechanization. A greater focus on these issues will mean additional funds for training and support to grow research opportunities at the farm level. 
  • Rural infrastructure – high-speed broadband or wi-fi connectivity is crucial to farmers and ranchers as it allows automation and efficiency. To resolve this issue, a 2021 infrastructure package may be used as a vehicle to fund these Farm Bill initiatives.  
  • The controversial area of food distribution and affordability – one side wanting cuts to the programs while the other seeks to beef them up – will be considered under the Food Systems Transformation Framework, but long-term impacts and solutions will likely take some time.  

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.  

Avent Ferry Road in Holly Springs 2.77 Acres

Beautiful Heavily Wooded 2.77 Acre Lot close to Harris Lake! Ample Road Frontage and Mostly High Ground with Mature Pine and Hardwood Forest. Hwy 55 and U.S 1 Close by. Previous Soils Work Performed and Would need Special Septic System. Call for details! $250,000

Photo Gallery: Touch on the first image to click through the pictures at your leisure. 

Alternative Accommodations: Unique North Carolina Rental Properties

Alternative Accommodations: Unique North Carolina Rental Properties

January 30, 2022

Alternative Accommodations: Unique North Carolina Rental PropertiesMany of us only think about exploring our beautiful state during certain seasons – visiting the mountains in the fall, for instance, or the coast during the warmer summer months. But there are plenty of interesting places to see and what some of us might consider “off-the-beaten-track” accommodations that offer unique and fun experiences, at almost any time of the year.

Alternative accommodations are growing in this country as we seek more and more exciting things to do and authentic, innovative choices of lodging. Many of us are not aware that North Carolina offers a wide range of unusual getaway options, from yurts to barns, and treehouses to railroad cars and cabooses, and this number is increasing. Here are just a few of these non-traditional offerings to pique your interest.


Treehouse rentals abound in the mountainous regions of North Carolina. Little Peak Creek Farm’s charming and artsy tree house cabin offers visitors not only amazing views, but 700 sq. ft. of luxurious living space – 2 beds, kitchen, full bath and deck/patio – with nearby horseback riding, golf, fishing, canoeing and plenty of other outdoor activities.

Woodfin, NC’s incredible, 3-level “The Aerie at Earth Sky Dwellings” treehouse features spectacular views, living room, kitchen, grill and games. The décor is upscale and serene, and the deck areas, spacious and comfortable.

This deluxe treehouse – complete with swinging bridge, high-end furnishings, sophisticated gas fireplace and relaxing sauna – offers a truly romantic retreat for those who desire a back-to-nature experience but don’t want to give up all the creature comforts of a four-star resort. Located just 10 minutes from Black Mountain and 20 from Asheville, the “Luxurious Secluded Romantic Treehouse with Hot Tub” is one of the most highly rated rental properties in the state.

Tiny Houses

Typically, a tiny house is defined as a self-sufficient, fully functioning living space up to 400 square feet in space. North Carolina tiny house getaways include this well-located and  sophisticated tiny home located on a 7-acre pond in Raleigh, with its own full bath, wi-fi, refrigerator/freezer, private barbecue and an outdoor sitting area perfect for relaxing after hiking the area. The eclectic “Polo” tiny home in Burnsville, NC is actually a refurbished horse trailer that has been completely refurbished to accommodate two in a cozy loft, with a scenic deck offering fabulous views of mountains and wildlife. Saluda, NC’s cheerful, lime-green tiny house features a full bath, living room, flat-screen TV and kitchenette. A canoe and boat on the neighboring fishing pond provide plenty of opportunities to get out and explore nature.


A yurt is one of the most ancient known types of housing, used primarily by nomads in Mongolia and elsewhere in Central Asia. Historically, yurts were covered in felt, fabric or carpets, with a traditional wood-burning stove in the middle for cooking and warmth, and a chimney stretching up and out through the middle of the roof. This type of structure – round, spacious and easy to dismantle and transport – has also become widely used nowadays in areas where camping and outdoor activities are prevalent, and today they can be found throughout the U.S. Depending on the size and location of the yurt, it can hold up to six guests, and offer amenities such as multiple beds, kitchenettes, bath facilities, sun decks and more.  

Some of the more interesting yurts in our state include this spacious rental in Hendersonville – complete with kitchen bar, outdoor deck and picnic table, walk-in shower, sofa and TV – and the yurt at Raleigh’s Lakeside Retreats, where amenities like walking and biking trails, picnic shelters, canoe and kayak access, and sauna are available to yurt guests.  

Bell Tent

This deluxe bell-shaped Lotus Belle Tent on a private estate at Carolina Shores offers the epitome of luxury – kitchen with quartz countertops, washer and dryer, firepit, grill, luxurious bathroom – in a location that cannot be beat if you’re seeking an out-of-the-ordinary getaway that will accommodate up to 4.  

TeePee Glamping

This comfortable, 24-foot teepee (or ‘tipi’) is in the ideal location for hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains in and around Ferguson, NC. With an authentic décor featuring hand-painted native American designs and nearby amenities such as a trout stream and several stocked ponds, visitors here will feel relaxed and at one with nature.

Longhouse in Swannanoa

If the thought of sleeping in a tiny house so tuned in to nature that you’ll be using a composting toilet – minimalizing your impact on the environment and reducing your dependency on water, too – and shower in water heated by the sun appeals to you, this tiny home in the style of an Iroquois longhouse is for you. Sleeping up to three, it also offers stunning mountain views.

Barn Stay

This century-old, scenic, refurbished dairy barn situated just miles from downtown Winston-Salem will sleep up to 8 (3 en-suites) and features full kitchen, a/c, wi-fi and TV. A meditation loft and barnyard full of friendly farm pets will ensure your visit is as tranquil as possible.

Located in a charming mountain setting, this refurbished tobacco barn in Burnsville, NC provides opportunities to visitors to hike and fish along a neighboring creek, or simply relax and enjoy nature from a large and comfortable screened-in porch. The galley kitchen, living room with pull-out couch, queen sized bed, and large dining area are perfect for a family of four. The barn still retains much of its quaint character as a once fully-functioning tobacco farm.

A Little Further Off the Grid

This elevated camping pod in hip and beautiful Boone, NC is a treehouse with flair, as it hangs suspended from the trees and connects to a private platform via a suspended bridge. The sphere features a shower, a/c, heating, fireplace and dining table, while outdoors guests can take advantage of a private barbecue, telescope and firepit.

Situated in the middle of a pine grove outside of Weaverville, NC, this colorful, eclectic converted bus offers electricity, fan, hot water, fire pit and outdoor bio-toilet. Views are spectacular.

This unique shipping container rental will not only accommodate you and your partner but any furry friends you might want to bring along, too. Just outside of Saxapahaw, NC, the container features brightly colored interior walls, wi-fi, a/c, heating, kitchenette and dark floors. Outside, a sandy play area, deck, bar and putting green are shared with two other units in the area.

Themed accommodations range from this “rustic” (no heat, air conditioning or restroom beyond a portable toilet) Wizard of Oz cottage in West Jefferson, NC to another Asheville area original, the Hobbit Treehouse Airbnb with its lovely entry and “fairy tale wrap-around porch” overlooking your Hobbit realm.  A second Hobbit-themed home-away-from-home, the Hobbithenge Earthen Home by Motherwood, is even more reminiscent of Middle Earth as it nestles into a meadow outside of Asheville with stained glass and other artistic elements placed throughout. Considered rustic in that there is only cold running water and tends to be cold inside when it’s cold outside, the atmosphere is nevertheless serene and pure Hobbit heaven.

Take your pick of a range of comfortable, vintage railroad cars and cabooses in western NC’s Smoky Mountains, all perfect for exploring scenic Asheville. Full of amenities, these unusual rentals sleep up to five – perfect for families wanting to explore the southern Blue Ridge mountains.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

2023 – Reflections on the New Year

2023 Goals and InspirationsMost of us look at the dawning of a new year with a mixture of relief, hope and at least some cautious optimism. This is indeed true – maybe even EXTRA true – as we say good-bye to a year of more re-building and re-connecting (with families, work teams, communities) than many of us have ever before experienced, and hello to a brand-new year which will undoubtedly see its own share of ups, downs and totally unexpected occurrences.

It’s the perfect time to reflect on what this year may hold for each of us on a personal basis, and how 2023 is likely to affect us as worldwide and state citizens.  

Predictions & Prophesies

  • Farmer’s Almanac. This American periodical, published for over 200 years, has predicted an early 2023 winter season that will be unseasonably cold and snowy with frequent storms and bouts of heavy rain and some snow – especially during the week of January 16! According to the Almanac, any snowfall in our area will occur in mid to late January and in February, and the chillier-than-usual weather will last further into the spring than normal.
  • An Ipsos poll conducted in 35 countries worldwide shows that many of us are feeling quite cautious about the direction our world is going in terms of the economy, climate-related issues, and the threat of nuclear war, or world security. These heavy topics are directly in line with the eerily accurate predictions of famed French doctor and astronomer – and heretic – Nostradamus, whose 500-year-old prophesies have included such world events as the French Revolution, the events of 9/11, and, some even believe, the start of the Coronavirus epidemic in 2020. In his famous 1555 book, “Les Prophéties,” he included prophecies across a wide spectrum of disasters including civil unrest, wars, assassinations, and natural catastrophes.

One of Nostradamus’ more sobering predictions for 2023 includes the devastating effect of global warming on life in our oceans, as referenced in this grim passage: “Like the sun, the head shall sear the shining sea: The Black Sea’s living fish shall all but boil.” Another prediction foretells some sort of “celestial fire on the royal (British) edifice,” which some followers believe to be an actual fire at Buckingham Palace, and other see as attacks on the legitimacy and reputation of the royal family. More predictions include 7 months of war, brought about by “great evil,” which may even lead to World War III. On a positive note…. Well, a booming economy, cloning and the widespread development of artificial organs are all supposedly just around the corner, in 2024!

  • The Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, starting from the day of Chinese New Year (January 22, in 2023), each year is symbolized by a certain animal, and 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit; 2023 will be especially lucky for both men and women born during one of these Years of the Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011). Since 2022, a Year of the Tiger, was one characterized by an over-abundance of energy and restlessness, the Year of the Rabbit is destined to be a year of relative serenity. Chinese society sees the Year of the Rabbit as a time of making peace in personal relationships or other life situations, and of making plans for the future.

Travel Trends

Travel tech company Amadeus has come up with a range of predictions for the new year in the world of travel, hospitality and tourism.

  • The metaverse, a term which may be new to some of us, will allow us to experience what a destination is like, digitally, before arriving and explore it again after leaving.
  • Working remotely will evolve for many as “work from anywhere” policies become more commonplace, and business travel will include work teams bonding and growing creativity through trips together.
  • Hotels will offer more amenities, which will mean less baggage for travelers.
  • Biometrics – alternative methods of paying through voice, facial, touch and other unique characteristics – will become more prevalent.
  • Travelers will be more willing to spend greater amounts of money on travel, and those experiences will be more personalized than ever.
  • Finally, the concept of sustainability – tourism without harming the natural environment – is a major theme for 2023.

Science and Technology

According to the BBC, 2023 will be a remarkable year in several areas. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact industries like banking, technology, and data processing in the area of automation, meaning possible layoffs in those areas, but allowing companies to meet growth targets and stay on budget, too. Work-life balance and flexibility have grown in importance to employees during the pandemic; “AI” will also allow more employees to work remotely, and part time workers will fill in the gaps where there is a need. Automation performed by software robots on repetitive tasks will increase, including the growth of robotic personal assistants to help out with the most tedious of tasks.

Following the development of antibodies used during the pandemic, vaccines are being developed in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, certain types of cancer, malaria, and other diseases. Advances in genetic engineering will result in therapies allowing a DNA strand to be altered, which opens up worlds of possibilities including in the fight against blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. A drug called lecanemab, developed in late 2022 to slow down the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s, may start to be used by patients in early stages of the disease once it is approved by regulators… the first real treatment for Alzheimer’s. Finally, the European Space Agency, or ESA, will launch the Euclid telescope in 2023 to map out the universe, delving even deeper into space observation, and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency will start planning for an exploration of the Milky Way.

What’s Going on in the Tarheel State

Back down to Earth, several interesting laws will go into effect in North Carolina over the next year, including one law – following a period in 2020 during which Governor Roy Cooper repeatedly and independently extended a pandemic-related state of emergency – that will require the governor to obtain formal support for extending a state of emergency past 30 and 60 days. Another new law drops the personal income tax rate from 4.99% to 4.75% in 2023 – a small change, but an improvement, nonetheless!

The southeast extension of the 540 Triangle Expressway – the “Raleigh Outer Loop” – will be completed in 2023 and will finally open to traffic in the spring of 2024. This $2.2bn, 70-mile roadway, designed to reduce congestion on I-440, I-40, NC 42, NC 55, and Ten Ten Road, will link together the towns of Apex, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, and Raleigh, completely encircling the city by the time it is complete.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

NC Christmas Trees 2022 Near Me

NC & Raleigh Christmas TreesNorth Carolina: Christmas Tree Capital!

An astounding 850 growers across each of North Carolina’s 100 counties harvest between 5 and 6 million Christmas trees annually, shipping them to Christmas tree lots and other vendors nationwide to sell over a brief six-week period prior to the holidays. Bringing in an estimated $90 million in revenue annually, the state’s Christmas tree industry is second in size only to Oregon’s and is responsible for supplying more than 20% of the Christmas trees sold throughout the country. 

Queen of the Forest: The Fraser Fir

The jewel in the crown of North Carolina’s Christmas tree industry is the elegant Fraser fir. Popular for its ideal symmetrical shape, magnificent fragrance and firm needles that don’t drop as quickly as those of other species, the Fraser fir is grown primarily for the commercial market, as millions of the tree are shipped throughout the nation. Native to the Appalachian Mountains, the tree grows best in a climate that is cool and moist, but at a slower pace than many other trees; a fully mature tree will take between seven and ten years to reach a height of 6-7 feet. Over 90% of the Christmas trees grown in the state are Fraser fir, making it not only the most abundant tree but also, according to many, the most iconic Christmas tree on the market.

Other trees grown throughout the state include the pretty Leyland cypress, grown primarily along the coast and in the Piedmont region; the Easter white pine with its long, soft, feathery needles and delicate branches; the Arizona cypress, with soft, pale to grayish-green needles and a scent that is more citrusy that other trees; and the dense, aromatic “Green Giant,” with a vibrant green color and pleasing pyramid shape.

History of the Christmas Tree 

Throughout history, various civilizations have used symbols of nature in their homes during ceremonies or as cultural symbols. Romans decorated their environment with evergreen boughs as the winter solstice approached, symbolizing a new growing season to come. Ancient Egyptians also used greens during the winter solstice period, using green palm rushes, which symbolized the triumph of life over death in their celebrations of Ra, the Sun God. German Protestant Christians first brought trees into their houses and decorated them with candles in the 16th century; this was also the period during which the first “Tannenbaum” songs were composed. Emigrants from Germany, it is widely believed, were responsible for bringing the tradition with them to the New World – to America – in the mid-1800s.

The tradition of having a live, decorated tree in the house was not adopted overnight in places like New England, where there was a large Puritan population that considered the practice pagan. During the 19th century, however, the tradition of a holiday tree grew in places like northern Europe and became popular in the U.S. as the number of Germany and Irish immigrants grew and Christmas ornaments from those areas started to be imported. In the early 1900s most tree decorations consisted of homemade ornaments, strings of popcorn, nuts and berries, and other handmade decorations including apples, nuts and cookies. Town squares began featuring their own trees, and soon the Christmas tree became commonplace in many American homes.

The White House Tradition

In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison was the first President to put up a Christmas tree in the White House: a tradition that has continued until today. In 1929, First Lady Lou Henry Hoover was the first to decorate the tree, and starting in 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy chose a theme for the tree – Nutcracker Suite – for the first time ever. In 1966 the delivery of the tree started being a bit more celebratory, with the tree being delivered to the North Portico of the White House on a carriage drawn by jingle bell-wearing horses.

Since 1961, a total of 14 trees from North Carolina have decorated the White House – the greatest number of trees from any one state. The first North Carolina tree to grace the White House’s Blue Room was in 1961, and the most recent in 2021, when Ashe County’s Peak Tree Farm furnished a massive 20-foot Fraser fir … for the third time (2008, 2012)! 

This year, the U.S. Capitol tree is also from North Carolina. A 78-foot red spruce named “Ruby” was harvested in the Pisgah National Forest and will be placed on the Capitol lawn. Following another tradition that started in the early 1960s, the selection of the “People’s Tree” differs from the White House tree in that it is always supplied from a different national forest, by the U.S. Forest Service.

A Total Holiday Experience      

There are a number of Christmas tree farms across North Carolina that offer visitors opportunities to spend an afternoon shopping, enjoying wagon rides, music or special holiday foods, or simply spending time roaming amongst acres of stunning, stately trees. 

  • Topton’s Fir Heaven Sake Christmas Tree Farmoffers cut and live trees as well as scenic sleigh rides with Santa, kids’ activities, and a gift shop full of locally sourced and produced items.
  • The Smoky Mountain Tree Farmin beautiful Waynesville, NC not only sells Fraser Fir trees, garlands and wreaths but operates a newly opened Christmas tree vacation cabin rental in the middle of the farm. 
  • The Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm, in Apex, offers hayrides, a bounce house for the kids, gift shop, concessions stand with apple cider, hot chocolate and more, and wreaths and garlands created on-site.
  • Kids will enjoy climbing aboard a bright red caboose or visiting a family of some very photogenic miniature donkeys while their parents sip on a cup of coffee or hot chocolate at Glenville’s Bear Valley Farm. The farm’s Fraser firs, grown in one of the most beautiful spots of the Great Smokey Mountains, will be available until the farm has reached its maximum of 1,800 trees sold for the year, so it’s best to call before you visit.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

Oilseed Farming in the U.S.

Oilseed Farming in the U.S.

Natures CropsRapeseed Flowers

A few of the so-called “big ideas” of the past decade or so have included health and nutrition trends – keto/paleo diets, farm-to-table dining, intermittent fasting and “clean” eating, for instance – and climate change, which has become an even hotter topic as we have continued to place more and more needs on our evolving planet. Another area of growing interest is sustainable, regenerative crop production, which is tied into global warming and a variety of environmental, economic and social issues as our planet gets warmer and warmer.

The oilseed industry, based on the cultivation of a number of crops grown for their edible oil (extracted from the seed of a plant rather than the plant itself, however) is one area that is well worth taking a look at from all perspectives.

What is Oilseed?

Oilseed is a seed or a crop grown commercially, mainly for the oil it produces. Oilseed crops such as sunflowers, cottonseed or rapeseed contain an amount of oil – 20% for soybeans, for instance, and over 40% for sunflowers – that make them ideal for oil production. The oils that are extracted are used for both edible and industrial purposes.

How Oilseed Oils Are Used

The most common use for oils extracted from oilseeds are, of course, in cooking and enhancing the taste of foods for both humans and livestock. However, certain oilseeds are also used in renewable fuels, and as ingredients in paints, pharmaceuticals, cleaners, printing inks and plastics. Rapeseed and soybean oils were the first types of seed oil used in the production of biodiesel, and they remain so until today; the process of extracting oil from rapeseed or soybeans – what are known as biodiesel feedstocks – through chemical extraction creates an eco-friendly fuel that is valued for its low impact to the environment.

Cold-Pressed Vs. Refined Oil Extraction

There is more than one process of extracting oil from oilseeds, including the centuries-old process of crushing raw seeds and slowly pressing them under a low temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or less) in a machine such as an oilseed press. Cold-pressed oils tend to be rich in oleic acid, vitamin E and antioxidants, as this method is free from the use of chemicals. Cold-pressed oils have a low smoke point, meaning they are more suited to salad dressings and other food items than cooking.

Oilseeds going through a refined process of oil extraction, on the other hand, are crushed, mixed with a liquid solvent, and then heated in a step that dissolves the solvent. Although these oils are virtually free from impurities, they are refined to such a degree that many of the health benefits – vitamins, etc. – are lost. Some refined oils go through another entire process of hydrogenation which gives them a longer shelf life, but the trans-fats that develop during this process can be hazardous to the health.   

Important Oil Seed Crops

In the U.S., the largest oilseed crops are rapeseed, canola, peanuts, soybeans, sunflower and cottonseed; soybeans make up the lion’s share of this production.

  • Soybeans account for about 90% of the nation’s oilseed output. Soybean oil has been shown to boost health in a variety of ways, including lowering blood sugar and blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, improving bone health and improving heart health.
  • Originally harvested as a food crop during the colonial years of the U.S., peanuts (or groundnuts, in some parts of the world) became an important oilseed crop in the early 1900s when it was demonstrated that it might be able to fuel a diesel engine. Some of peanut oil’s more important health benefits include a high degree of unsaturated (good) fats and heart-healthy antioxidants such as vitamin E.
  • Sunflower seed oil has a higher smoking point than vegetable oils, meaning it’s ideal for frying foods, and is an excellent ingredient in various skin care products as an emollient. As it is low in saturated fat and higher in oleic and linoleic acids, it is considered a relatively healthy oil, although it does contain omega-6 fatty acids, which can be harmful.
  • Cottonseed is similar to the sunflower seed in that the seed itself is surrounded by a hard outer hull. The smoke point of the cottonseed is fairly high, which means the oil is perfect for frying, but the oil is also used in some products as a remedy for skin conditions and in a variety of insecticides, cosmetics and detergents.
  • The rapeseed plant, a yellow flowering plant belonging to the Brassica plant family – the same family as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and mustard – produces a very pure oil out tiny pods (a tenth of a millimeter in diameter!) containing about 45% oil. Rapeseed oil is often used in industrial applications.
  • Although canola and rapeseed are often thought to be the same, they are not. Canola is a genetically modified version of the rapeseed plant that lacks potentially harmful glucosinolates and erucic acid. Most vegetable oil we use for cooking is canola oil because of its mild, light taste, but it is also used in food products such as crackers and chips and in the production of biodiesel. The solid parts of the seed are often ground into canola meal, which is used in animal feed. Canola is another oil that is full of healthy, monounsaturated fats. It also lowers cholesterol and can be used to relieve inflammation.  

Natures Crops International

One locally based grower of oilseed crops and producer of specialty oils is Natures Crops International, a company dedicated to growing oilseed crops worldwide in the healthiest, most sustainable environments possible. Using a mechanical cold-press method to process those oils, and in small batches that ensure freshness, the company also uses the co-products to increase soil fertility and for other purposes sustainable purposes.

Beyond leaving no negative impact on the environment, the processes used by Natures Crops are regenerative, meaning they focus on the health of the entire ecosystem rather than the crop itself. Water management guidelines are followed, as are certain practices to protect the soil from erosion and any sort of chemical impact and to create habitats for pollinators, earthworms and enriching soil microorganisms.

Find out more about Natures Crops International here, including how the company’s 100% plant-based specialty oils are used in health and beauty products of the highest purity and functionality from the most exceptional crops.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

Fall Planting for Spring Growth

Fall Planting for Spring GrowthAutumn is the perfect time of year to prepare your yard for winter hibernation, and to plant almost anything from bulbs to bushes and trees to winter vegetables. Lower humidity and shorter days mean less energy is needed to fend off plant disease and plant-feeding insects, but also, the warm soil, fewer hours of daylight and cooler temperatures of fall are critical in a plant’s growing cycle in that they trigger the plant to develop stronger, deeper roots and to stop creating new stems and leaves.

Autumn Lawn Maintenance

There are dozens of simple-to-apply fall lawn treatment products on the market. Some of these products, when applied in early fall, encourage the growth of grassroots that may have suffered over the hot summer season and kill stubborn weeds like dandelion and clover. Others, used later in the season, are useful for breaking down organic materials like dead leaves and for feeding the grass to store energy in preparation for spring growth.

Other products contain fall seeding grass and are designed to help fill in bare spots or thicken lawns that, once again, may have been damaged over the summer. Fall, in fact, is the best season of the year to apply seed, because the air is cool but soil still warm, which, once again, encourages healthy root growth.

Weeds, too, go through growing cycles, although just a few cold season varieties continue to germinate into the fall. Plants benefit with fewer weeds in their midst since they don’t have to compete for soil nutrients and water. Weed killer applied to a lawn in the fall will travel more directly to the weeds’ roots, killing them effectively underground. A layer of mulch, too – a couple of inches in shady areas, but 3-4 around trees and other plants – is very efficient at discouraging weed growth.  

The Right Time to Plant a Tree or a Shrub

The ideal combination of cooler temperatures, shorter days and warm soil is ideal for planting evergreens or deciduous trees and bushes in the fall, too. Spring-blooming perennial shrubs – those that will grow for more than one season – are also ideally planted in autumn, at least six weeks before the first frost is likely to occur. A newly planted tree or shrub will have an easier time developing strong roots in preparation for winter hibernation with fewer insects, weeds and damaging heat to contend with.

A tree’s roots will continue to strengthen and grow until the temperature of the soil drops below 40F degrees. It is always important to make sure the tree is planted in a location with good drainage, that it receives proper watering and that the soil around the plant is covered with a substantial layer of mulch. The mulch should entirely cover the ground surrounding the tree trunk but not get piled up directly against it in order to prevent a damaging condition called root rot.

Bulbs and Wildflowers

Fall is also the ideal time for planting flower bulbs – daffodils, tulips, crocus, lilies and more – ahead of the cooler winter months. By planting in autumn, strong roots are formed, and the bulbs are able to experience a “cold period” – a necessary part of their growing process – which will ensure they actually flower. Bulbs should be planted in October or November in areas of full sunlight and insulated with a layer of mulch.

Wildflowers, too, which release their seeds in the fall, are able to germinate in time for spring growth as they are spread in the autumn by animals or by the wind. Planting wildflower seeds is most successful in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight where they are not crowded by other plants, are not overly watered and are not covered with too much soil, if any at all. In our warm climate of North Carolina, planting should take place at least 60 days prior to the first frost.


Vegetables that prefer cooler weather for growing – broccoli, kale and romaine lettuce, for instance – are typically planted no later than August, but others such as carrots, radishes, leeks, cauliflower, green peas and all root vegetables do well when planted further into the fall months. Some gardeners protect their winter vegetables against cold snaps by covering them with plastic or insulating blankets, but under typical growing conditions, winter vegetables may easily be grown and cultivated until close to the end of the year.

Herbs such as mint, oregano, sage and thyme that are planted through mid-fall will grow through most of the winter in our region. With full sunlight and well-drained soil – herbs also do well in raised beds – they will come back again year after year.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

Land for Sale in Chatham County

Chatham County 184 Acres on Walter Bright Road and 15-501

Prime Chatham County Land Tract with Road Frontage on Both Hwy 15-501 and Walter Bright Road! Close to both Pittsboro and Siler City, this is also Convenient to RTP, Chapel Hill, Apex and Southern Pines/Pinehurst! This Gorgeous Tract has Rolling Terrain and is Heavily Wooded with both Mature Pine and Hardwoods. Preliminary Soils Work Shows Limited Conventional Septic System Areas and Other Potential Surface Spray or Drip Irrigation Septic System Areas. Contact us for the Soils Report. Duke-Energy Easement in Place for Future Transmission Lines. Zoned R-1. $3,495,000 Parcel: 18437 Chatham County, NC 

** Land is being surveyed now to cut into smaller tracts, call for details.

Location: 0.7 mile North of the Deep River Bridge on US15/501 both sides of US15/501 and Walter Bright Road. The cleared ROW crossing US15/501 is along and inside the southern property boundary line. 

Utilities: Water, there is an 8-inch water-line along Walter Bright Road 

Gas: There is a natural gas distribution substation on the property, off Walter Bright Road 

Access: Road frontage on US 15/501 & Walter Bright Road 

2644′ Road Frontage on the East Side on 15-501, and 1386′ on the West Side

905′ Road Frontage on the East Side of Walter Bright Road and 1321′ on the West Side

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