In the latest drought monitor released by USDA for conditions through December 3rd, abnormally dry conditions have decreased from the previous week from more than 90% of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions to just over 80%. The South Carolina counties that are drought free are Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Anderson. The western part of Laurens, Union and Chester Counties are also free of abnormally dry conditions.
North Carolina’s Abnormally Dry Conditions Abate
The area of North Carolina experiencing abnormally dry conditions in the week ending December 3rd decreased from 75% the previous week to 57% in the current report. A wide swatch of the Piedmont remains in abnormally dry conditions, the far eastern Coastal Plain the western Piedmont and the mountains remaining free of drought conditions.
Farm Bill’s Chances Dim or Great, Depending on Who You Ask
House Speaker John Boehner has contradicted his top farm bill negotiator’s claims of great progress on the bill – insisting next Friday is the deadline for a farm bill this year. House Ag Chair Frank Lucas last Wednesday…
“We made great progress. We have more progress to make. We have a good by the principles and by the staff. Just let us keep working.”
House Speaker John Boehner a day later…
“I have not seen real progress on the farm bill. So if we have to pass a one month extension of the farm bill then I think we are prepared to do that.”
Boehner Suggests One Month Farm Bill Extension
The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees say they’re making progress on the farm bill – but House Speaker John Boehner isn’t seeing that progress. During his weekly news conference Boehner suggested the 2008 Farm Bill should be extended for a month. Reuters reported that a House aide said the House could vote next week to extend the now-expired farm law into January.
NC Ag Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Taking Applications
County governments and nonprofit groups interested in farmland preservation have until Dec. 16 to apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; and for the development of agricultural plans.
Applications and guidelines for the current funding cycle are available at www.ncadfp.org or by calling 919-707-3071. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 16.