In South Carolina, drought conditions worsened across the state, as the areas of abnormally dry grew to cover ninety plus percent of the state and now extend south into Allendale and Hampton Counties. A small area around McCormick County moved into the Extreme Drought classification.
The situation isn’t nearly as bad as your cross the border into North Carolina but the amount of drought-free areas did decline compared to last week. More than one-third of North Carolina is dealing with dry conditions, and Union, Anson and Richmond Counties are now reporting moderately dry levels.
For more on the drought monitor click here
Fall Harvest is Progressing Across the Region
Wetter fields conditions have North Carolina farmers playing catch up when looking at five-year averages for fall harvesting and planting of winter crops. According to this week’s USDA crop report, wheat planting is only 28% completed, compared to a 5-year average of 39% and pacing far behind last year in which nearly 50% of wheat was in the ground.
Similar trends can be seen on fall harvest progress. Nearly two-thirds of the cotton crop is normally baled by early November, but this year’s cotton harvest hasn’t surpassed the half way mark. Soybean harvest isn’t as far behind, with 26% of the acres harvested, down only 3% from the 5-year average and 6% from last year.
To hear from local farmers on how their harvest is going, click here to view our Harvest Series.
Climate Change Regulations Moving Forward
Agriculture is bracing for part-two of its fight with the Obama Administration over regulations. American Farm Bureau’s Energy and Environment Chief Paul Schlagle is not ready to concede that superstorm Sandy will be a catalyst for a tsunami of Greenhouse Gas rules in a second Obama term – though the President has referenced climate change as part of his next agenda. And Schlagle says EPA is wasting no time in moving forward with regulations…
“There was a court decision several months ago which gave them the green light to continue what they are doing. I don’t think a decision has been made on appealing that decisions, so at the moment the agency is moving forward and we expect to get greater education as to how and when they are going to be specific about breaking in agricultural sources, but we are not exempt.”
South Carolina Market Highlights
Here are highlights from yesterday’s local cash prices at South Carolina markets.
Slaughter cows and bulls steady to 2 dollars higher.
Young to middle-aged cows with 215 to 270 pound calves ranged from $1,200 to $1,320 per pair.
And feeder cattle were unevenly steady.
National direct Barrows and Gilts from 240 to 300 pounds 59.19, down 62 cents.
Sows live price 300 to 450 pounds, 50.33.
Corn bids were 3 to 4 cents lower.
Soybeans were 9 to 13 lower.
New crop Wheat was mixed, 5 cents lower to 8 cents higher.
And the southeast cotton base price was 67.01, down 57 cents