While not a bad year thus far in the Carolinas as far as moisture goes, other parts of the country are experiencing drought, some areas for the second year in a row. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spelled out just who widespread the drought is:
“1297 counties have been designated as secretarial disaster areas, that is approximately 1/3 of the counties in the US.”
Vilsack says the drought is bad enough for crop producers but worse for livestock producers.
These dry conditions will ultimately affect every consumer in the country at the grocery checkout.
Time to Vaccinate for West Nile and EEE
Two Quarter horses were euthanized this month after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, a mosquito-borne disease that is preventable in equine by vaccination.
They are the first reported cases of EEE in horses this year. State Veterinarian David Marshall recommends that equine owners talk to their veterinarians about an effective vaccination protocol to protect horses from EEE and another mosquito-borne disease, West Nile Virus.
National Pork Board Responds to Mercy for Animals Video
A hidden video surfaced earlier this week from one of Minnesota’s biggest pork producers - Christensen Farms. The video shows practices that are used on most pig farms according to Dave Preisler Executive Director of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, but he says it was edited in a negative way:
“Their whole goal was to put pressure on retailers to not sell meat. It’s as simple as that.”
Mercy for Animals is the group that released the video.
The National Pork Board disagrees with the portrayal of pork production shown in the video. National Pork Board President Conley Nelson says pig farmers have a deep commitment and responsibility to the welfare of the animals they raise:
“Pork farmers have a strong track record of animal practices that have been developed through research and the experience of raising pork. As an industry, we are always seeking to improve those practices. Our track record really shows that.”
The simplicity of it all - Preisler says - is producers who don’t care for their animals aren’t going to stay in business. An independent panel of scientists and ethicists, who reviewed the video, concluded there were no signs of animal abuse or neglect.
Fed Chairman Continues ‘Gloom & Doom’ Testimony on The Hill
During the second day of his bi-annual testimony yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged Congress to act quickly to pull the US economy back from the "fiscal cliff" that looms at the end of the year:
“The most effective way that Congress can help to support the economy right now would be to work to address the Nation’s fiscal challenges in a way that takes into account both the need for long run sustainability and the fragility of the recovery.”