North & South Carolina See Little Change in Weekly Drought Monitor
In the latest drought monitor released by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service North Carolina experienced little change. The area of the state without dry conditions decreased very slightly, remaining at about 73%. The area of the state in abnormally dry conditions increased also very slightly, remaining at about 27%, and the area experiencing moderate drought remains the same at just under 7%. That area is in the south central Piedmont from the South Carolina border up into Lee County.
South Carolina Sees Little Change in the Weekly Drought Monitor
In the latest drought monitor released by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, there was little change for the Palmetto state. The area of the state with no drought conditions declined slightly from 25 1/2% to just under 25% this week. The area of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions increased slightly from 74 ½ % last week to just over 75% this week, yet the area experiencing moderate drought conditions fell from 12 to 8% this week.
For more on the drought monitor click here.
GMO Labeling Proponents Turn Sights on Soda Giants
GMO Inside wants to advance the right of consumers to know if foods are genetically engineered. The group is now calling on Coca-Cola and Pepsi to label their GMO ingredients or completely eliminate GMO ingredients from their products. The group encourages consumers to take action by signing a petition, leaving comments on the Facebook walls of these companies and choosing drinks and snacks without GMOs.
Obamacare Rules Reach into the Strangest Places
Obamacare will make it more costly for farmers and ranchers to sell their land in what the American Farm Bureau is now calling a retirement tax. Even without Obamacare – the capital gains tax reverted to 20-percent from 15-percent on January 1st. Along comes Obamacare – tack on another three-point-eight-percent. AFBF Senior Economist Bob Young says the new Medicare contribution tax amounts to a retirement tax when a farm or ranch is sold…
“The challenge is that when you end up selling that land, you will end up with some capital gains tax and it ends up being effectively that much higher of a cap gains tax, 4 percentage points, and the 20% tax before, so you are looking at a 24% tax.”
AFBF wants repeal of the new tax and a separate – nearly one-percent – Medicare tax on high-income earners and self-employment income.
Senators Cosponsor Legislation to Protect Farmers from Burdensome Regulations
Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns says two bipartisan bills he is cosponsoring are designed to protect farmers and ranchers from unnecessary and costly regulations regarding fuel storage and transport. The Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship – or FUELS Act – would ensure an EPA regulation addressing oil spills doesn't unnecessarily capture farmers' fuel storage containers. The second bill would eliminate a regulation that requires farmers to comply with additional licensing requirements before transporting certain amounts of diesel fuel to their fields. According to Johanns – these bills would save farmers tens of thousands of dollars in compliance costs.