In the latest drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center on Thursday, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions remained fairly stable. Last week 15.64% of the state was in abnormally dry conditions, this week that number increased slightly to 15.73%. The area of abnormally dry conditions consists of the western Piedmont region, from the Virginia border to Anson and Union Counties to the south. The Coastal Plain and the mountain region remain drought free.
South Carolina Remains Drought Free
In spite of the lack of rain the last two weeks, South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions held steady at zero this week, as reported in the weekly drought monitor released Thursday by the Drought Mitigation Center. The state’s year-plus drought began disappearing on the weekly maps around the end of December, and has slowly abated over the last nine months or so. This time last year over 26% of the state was in abnormally dry conditions with drought classifications going up to a very small segment of the state in the highest classification of drought; exceptional.
BPI Using Settlement Funds to Help Employees
Owners of Beef Products Inc. have established a $10 million fund to benefit former BPI employees impacted by plant closures. The fund will help employees who were laid off when sales dropped stemming from a series of reports about the company’s Lean Finely Textured Beef product broadcast by ABC News. BPI laid off roughly 750 employees and closed facilities in Iowa, Kansas and Texas at the time of the reports in 2012. Following a settlement with ABC in its lawsuit, BPI announced the fund this week. In June, BPI settled a $1.9 billion lawsuit against ABC and correspondent Jim Avila for defamation and claims that the network had used false information.
Ireland Tops U.S. in Food Security
For the first time, the United States has dropped from the top spot in a global ranking of how well countries can feed their own people. A new ranking shows Ireland now as the world’s most food secure nation, with the U.S. the second most food secure nation. Bloomberg reports the drop in food security for the U.S. can be attributed to concerns about agricultural research spending and government policy trends, which may make the world’s top food exporter a less-certain place to get a meal. Researchers for the Global Food Security Index say Ireland has improved its food affordability, availability, quality and safety over the last year.