South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought conditions increased significantly this week according to the latest drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center. Abnormally dry conditions in the Palmetto State increased from 67.52% last week to 85.74% this week, and the area of moderate drought increased from 46.24% to 47.53%. The area of the state that is drought free is along the coast, and in the upstate along the Georgia/North Carolina border.
Severe Drought Returns to the Tar Heel State
In the latest drought monitor released by the National Drought Mitigation Center on Thursday, the state’s drought conditions changed in one small area, with Cleveland, Gaston and part of Lincoln Counties now in the second phase of drought, severe, or D2. The state’s overall abnormally dry conditions remained the same at 38.71% and the area of moderate drought increased slightly from 17.28 to 17.54%. The western mountains, the central Piedmont and the Coastal Plain remain drought free.
NC Tobacco Growers Concerned about TPP Negotiations
Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina sent letters to the US Trade Representative, Michael Froman and US Senator Mitch McConnell this week in an effort to present a united front for the tobacco industry during the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks underway in Hawaii this week. Reports from these meetings suggest that tobacco has to be carved out of the commodities to be considered under the trade agreement in order for those talks to advance. TGANC, and other commodity groups are concerned about this possibility, not only because of the potential impact to tobacco trade but the precedent it would set for other commodities. George Holding, representative from North Carolina has also penned a letter to Ambassador Froman, signed by some 20 colleagues, many from non-tobacco producing states addressing the same issue during the talks.