Moderate Drought Appears in South Carolina


South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions were unchanged this week as reported in the weekly drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center, at 32.72%.  However, a small area of moderate drought has now appeared, 2,31% of the state in Cherokee, Union and Newberry Counties in the Upstate.  The area of abnormally dry conditions remains about the same, encompassing the western Pee Dee region, and the eastern Upstate.  The remainder of the  Upstate, as well as the upper coastal plain and the low country remain drought free.

North Carolina’s Area of Moderate Drought Shifts West

In the latest drought monitor from the Drought Mitigation Center released on Thursday, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions remained fairly stable, with last week’s abnormally dry conditions encompassing just over 44% of the state, this week just under 44%.  The area of moderate drought also decreased slightly from just under 10% to about 8 ½ %.  While the area of abnormally dry conditions is about the same, the area of moderate drought shrank and shifted to the west, but now includes a small pocket in the south in Union, Mecklenburg and Stanly Counties.  The southern Piedmont, Coastal Plain and mountain region remain drought free.

China Pork Imports to Increase

Rabobank expects China to increase its pork imports through the last few months of the year. A new report suggests a stronger pricing trend, as the major importing countries, including China, will likely maintain steady import growth. China’s pork imports were down 27 percent in the first eight months of this year. Meanwhile, Rabobank reports that U.S. pork production will continue to expand over the remainder of the year.

Voting Begins for 2017 FSA County Committee Elections

Agricultural producers will receive ballots next week to vote for 2017 Farm Service Agency county committee elections. The Department of Agriculture announced the ballots were being sent to farmers this week. To ensure their votes are counted, producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by December 4th, 2017. USDA says nearly 7,700 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Committee members elected will take their post at the start of 2018.

USDA Offering $5 Million in Farm to School Grants

The Department of Agriculture is offering $5 million in grants to schools through the USDA Farm to School Program. The program has been awarding grants to schools and communities since 2013. Farm to School refers to efforts that bring locally or regionally produced foods into school cafeterias. Schools, Native American tribes, farmers and other organizations may be eligible to apply for up to $100,000 for planning, implementing or training on farm to school programs. Applications are due by December 8th, 2017. Visit SFN Today dot com for a link to the application.

Application information is available online at

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.