In the latest drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center for conditions through Tuesday morning, South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions increased from just under 90% to just over 93%. The area of moderate drought was relatively stable at 38.4% last week and 38.71% this week, the areas of severe and extreme drought remained the same at 3.33 and 1.63% respectively. Abnormally dry conditions returned to Aiken County along the Georgia border that was previously drought free.
North Carolina’s Drought Conditions Stable
North Carolina’s drought conditions were stable this week as reported in the latest drought monitor released Thursday morning by the Drought Mitigation Center for conditions through Tuesday morning. The area of abnormally dry conditions remained the same at 56.5%, the area of moderate drought was stable at 34.73%, and the area of severe drought was steady at 4.64%. From Johnston County to the coast remains drought free with the exception of the southern portions of Brunswick and Columbus Counties.
Rapid Testing Increasing Incidences of Foodborne Illness
Aimee Geissler with Foodnet–which tracks foodborne illnesses says more than 24 thousand people were sickened last year after eating contaminated food. Geissler expects that number to increase because of new rapid diagnostic tests that pick up foodborne illnesses.
“Rapid tests are faster and easier to use, may result in our health care providers testing more frequently than they have in the past because it allows for results to get back in one or two hours.”
U.S. Tractor Sales Up in March
U.S. tractor sales in March increased six percent compared to a year ago. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers released its monthly sales report and it shows that for the first three months in 2017, a total of 42,033 tractors were sold, which compares to 39,878 sold through March 2016, representing a five percent increase for the year. For the month, two-wheel drive smaller tractors, rated 40 horsepower and under, were up ten percent from last year. Meanwhile, sales of 40 to 100 horsepower tractors were up two percent, and 100-plus horsepower two-wheel drive tractor sales were down 15 percent, but four-wheel drive tractors in the same category increased 21 percent.