North Carolina Loses Ground in Latest Drought Monitor
North Carolina’s dry conditions declined as shown in the latest drought monitor. Just shy of 60% of the state is now in abnormally dry conditions compared to 53% in the previous report. 46% of the state is now reporting abnormally dry conditions, compared to 40% as previously reported. The area of the state in moderate drought remained the same at just over 6%, in counties from Union to Scotland, up to Lee County. In addition to expanding, dry conditions have shifted east, from Pender County in the south, up to Currituck County in the north.
South Carolina’s Drought Conditions Continue to See Improvement
In the latest drought monitor, South Carolina’s dry conditions continued to improve, however, the dry conditions continue to shift west. 46% of the state is now drought free, compared to just shy of 40% in the previous report. The areas of the state reporting abnormally dry conditions decreased from 60% to just shy of 54%, and the area of the state experiencing moderate drought is now split in two, one area in the northern midlands, and the other just inside the Georgia border, totaling almost 11% of the state, compared to 25 ¾ % in the previous report.
House Farm Bill Markup Confirmed
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) announced Thursday his intent to move forward May 15 with a farm bill markup. Although Republican leadership pressured the chairman to take more time and consider tougher changes in the food stamp program to gain more conservative votes, Lucas said he would still hold listening sessions first with the Republican whip’s office so as to maintain his schedule and produce a bipartisan bill with Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN).
Impact of China’s Bird Flu Outbreak on U.S. Grains
According to the U.S. Grains Council – the impact of the bird flu outbreak in China on poultry production and feed demand is uncertain. As live bird markets close – the Council says the reduction of poultry inventories will reduce feed consumption in the industry. But if consumers switch to pork – the losses in the poultry sector will be offset – reducing the net effect on feed demand.