South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions improved greatly after three days of torrential rains in the midlands over the weekend and early part of the week, as reported in the latest drought monitor released on Thursday. More than 93% of the state was reporting abnormally dry conditions last week, compared to just 67% this week, last week 38 ¾% of the state was reporting moderate drought, this week it’s down to 18.5%, and 3.33% of the state was reporting severe drought last week, this week that number is reduced to 1.7%, and last week, 1 2/3rds% of the state was reporting extreme drought, this week that number is reduced to zero. The most improvement is in the midlands, and northern Horry County.
NC’s Abnormally Dry Conditions Retreat West
In the latest drought monitor released Thursday for conditions through Tuesday morning at 8:00 am, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions receded to the west considerably over the previous week. 31.3% of the state is now reporting abnormally dry conditions compared to 56.5% last week. Only 4.8% of the state is reporting moderate drought compared to 34.75% last week, and less than ¼% of the state is reporting severe drought this week compared to 4 2/3 % last week. Abnormally dry conditions have retreated from most of the Piedmont, with the exception of the northern most counties. Also drought free for the first time in several months are most of the row of counties in the west along the Tennessee border. Rain continued to fall in the state after the cut-off time, so next week’s monitor should show more improvement.
Plans to Walk Away from NAFTA Scuttled
President Trump was ready to sign an Executive Order to withdraw from NAFTA but now says there are no plans to walk away. He still says he will scrap the pact if a fair deal is not reached for all countries. But he said on Twitter Thursday morning that renegotiating NAFTA with Canada and Mexico was very possible. Karen J Alter is a Professor of Political Science and Law at Northwestern:
“Industry has benefitted tremendously from NAFTA, and they don’t want it to go away. And so, as more actors get involved in the negotiations, that’s the pressure that’s going to come on the Trump Administration’s ‘no trade negotiations.’”
Brazilian Meat Companies Lose Billions in Wake of Scandal
Brazilian meat companies lost BRL4.78 billion ($1.52 billion) in market value from March 16 through April 17 after the Federal Police announced “Operation Weak Flesh,” according to consultancy firm Economatica. News about the investigation into a corruption scheme involving public sanitary inspectors and some Brazilian meat processing plants on March 17 prompted many countries to temporary halt Brazilian imports. Brazil’s Federal Police has charged 63 people for participation
Farmers’ Share of the Food Dollar is Still Low
Some consumers may still look at grocery store prices and think farmers are making a lot of money off the commodities they produce. A USDA report says for every dollar that consumers spend on food, farmers and ranchers get approximately 17.4 cents. The remaining 82.6 cents of that dollar goes to things like marketing, processing, wholesaling, transportation, and retailing. For example, for every pound of bacon purchased, the consumer spends $5.63 while the farmer earns 75 cents. Compared to the retail price of most products, farmers will often only make pennies on the dollar.