Lack of Rain Evident in Crop Progress Report

The lack of rain last week was evident in the latest crop progress report for North Carolina for conditions through Sunday, September 20th.  There were just shy of 7 days suitable for field work across the state, compared to just over 5 the week before.  Topsoil moisture is rated at 16% very short, 32% short, 47% average, and 5% surplus.  Carl Pless with Cabarrus County Extension reports very dry conditions across the county with soybeans, grain sorghum hay and pastures in need of rain for further development.  Brian Parrish with Harnett County Extension also reports extremely dry conditions with some irrigation of sweet potatoes underway, and declining tobacco quality due to disease and general deterioration. 

Dry Conditions Allowing for Rapid Harvest Progress

Once again dry conditions are a major player in the latest crop progress report for South Carolina.  There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork across the state, more than the previous week.  Topsoil moisture is rated at 10% very short, 55% short, 34% adequate and 1% surplus.  Hilda Shelley with Horry County reports that corn harvest is in progress with very low yields due to lack of timely moisture, and tobacco harvest is complete.  And High Gray with Allendale County reports that no rain during the week allowed for completion of corn harvest, and cotton defoliation and harvest as well as peanut harvest to get underway.

USDA Awards License to Test Bird Flu Vaccine

Ames, Iowa-based Harris Vaccines has been awarded the first license by USDA to develop a bird flu vaccine. The conditional license authorizes it to continue testing the vaccine’s effectiveness and stand ready if the USDA gives order to begin manufacturing.

Company Vice President Joel Harris said testing with USDA shows the vaccine to be 95 percent effective in adult hens and 93 percent effective in day-old chicks with one dose.

Harris Vaccines creates vaccines using genetic code – a string of 1,500 letters in specific sequence – eliminating the need to handle live virus. Harris says that allows the vaccine to be updated quickly if the virus mutates.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.