In the latest drought monitor released by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, North Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions stayed virtually the same, shifting only 3/100ths. Therefore, the percentage of the state that remains drought-free remains at just under 57%, the percentage of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions is approximately 43%, and the percentage of the state in moderate drought is at just under 7%. The Commonwealth of Virginia remains free of drought.
Congress Resumes Session This Week, Senate Farm Bill Mark-Up on the Horizon
After a two-week spring recess, members of Congress are expected to be back in Washington, D.C., this week. Priority business to tend to includes an effort to conference a budget resolution and begin the FY 2014 appropriations process. President Obama’s Administration is scheduled to deliver its budget proposal April 10, two months later than the traditional deadline.
There is also talk among the ag community that the Senate Agriculture Committee is planning to mark-up a farm bill draft at the end of April. No official date has been set yet.
South Carolina’s Drought Monitor Shows No Change
The latest drought monitor released by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service shows the Palmetto state remaining completely steady percentage wise, with the previous report. While the percentages remain the same; 34 ½ % of the state is drought free, 65% of the state is in abnormally dry conditions, and 29% of the state is reporting moderate drought conditions, the geography has changed from the previous report. More counties in the coastal region are reporting no dry conditions, with more area in the Piedmont, and the Uplands reporting no drought. Just one year ago, South Carolina was 100% in abnormally dry conditions, with more than 20% reporting extreme drought.
Grain Sorghum Seed Still Available for 2013 Growing Season
Grain sorghum acreage has increased significantly in the Upper Southeast as growers see the benefits of the crop for their farm and for the economy of the entire region. These increased plantings, as well as higher plantings in Texas and the High Plains due to continuing drought, have led to shortages of grain sorghum seed. However, several seed distributors report that limited seed is still available at some retail locations. Southeast growers interested in planting sorghum for 2013 should get seed booked with their retailers as soon as possible, or seed may be unavailable.
Registration Open for 2013 Tobacco Forum
Online registration is now available for the 2013 US Tobacco Forum on June 13 and 14th at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Conference Center in Durham. For a link to registration and hotel reservations, visit our calendar. The agenda for the forum has yet to be finalized.