NC officials set up pest survey to protect sweet potatoes

Why aren’t sweet potato weevils moving off of the Carolina coast to the plethora of sweet potato farms further inland? That’s what researchers from the NC Department of Agriculture want to find out.

Specialists found the weevil near Carolina Beach in the early 1980s, and since then it has stayed in the area and has not moved toward the state’s coastal plain, where most of the sweet potato fields lie. So researchers are setting out nearly 500 traps to track the weevil population and to see what the weevils are feeding on.

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Hemlocks are beginning to recover

From the Watauga Democrat

Visitors to the Linville Gorge and other mountain forests have all witnessed the carnage. The gray ghosts of a once thriving hemlock population stipple the steep hillsides, falling victim one by one to the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Biologists, researchers, forest and wildlife advocates have been waging what may look like a losing battle against the invasive insect for more than a decade, but efforts are ongoing and recent successes are spawning renewed optimism.

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