In the latest drought monitor released by USDA on Thursday for conditions through Monday, May 25th, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions increased from 10 ¾% last week to just over 49% this week. From roughly I-85 to the Tennessee border is now reporting abnormally dry conditions, the eastern Piedmont and Coastal Plain remain drought free.
Abnormally Dry Conditions Expand in South Carolina
In the latest drought monitor released by USDA on Thursday for conditions through Tuesday, May 26th, South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions increased to more than 56% from under 1% the week before. All but the coastal plain and small ribbon of area along the Georgia border is now reporting abnormally dry conditions, about equal to the state’s conditions at the beginning of the calendar year.
EPA Issues Bee Protection Measure
The Environmental Protection Agency is telling farmers to “buzz off,” when it comes to spraying pesticides at certain times.
Farmers would be banned from putting chemicals on leaves, when honey-bees are busy pollinating their croplands…
The rule would only apply to fields when crops are in bloom, and hives are brought in – by professional bee keepers – to work the fields. Those hives account for about 90 percent of the honeybees in the US.
The EPA is proposing the rule as part of a broader government plan to boost the health of the US honey-bee population.
Summer Heat Reducing Number of Avian Influenza Cases
Reuters reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford says the number of avian influenza cases in the U.S. has begun to decline. Though Clifford believes the worst is in the past – he says that doesn’t mean there won’t be additional cases. He says the warmer summer weather is helping – as sunlight and heat reduces the virus present in the environment – and he expects the epidemic to be over within a couple of months. So far – the outbreak has led to the death or culling of 40-million birds on commercial farms and backyard flocks in the U.S. and Canada.