Water Sources Improve After Recent Rains
It’s been a welcome sight the last two weeks or so….rain. NC State Climatologist Dr. Ryan Boyles says Reservoirs around the state have benefited from the rain, but the groundwater, not so much:
“The types of storms that we’ve gotten here in the past week are the types that we need to see more frequently for us to have good recovery. And we have seen some recovery, especially in the surface reservoirs, we need more of these types of storms to bring some good recovery to our water tables.”
NC Wind Farm Receives Approval…again
North Carolina officials are approving a proposed 11,000-acre wind farm in Beaufort County that critics worry could kill migrating birds landing at a nearby wildlife refuge.
The Raleigh News and Observer reported the state utilities commission said it had no legal authority to reject the Pantego Wind Energy Facility. Regulators say the wind farm cannot go ahead without state and federal environmental permits and other strict conditions.
Environmentalists who usually support renewable energy projects oppose this one near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge fearing the migrating birds seeking refuge there could be killed by the giant spinning blades.
Economic Recovery Continues
More evidence of the economic recovery continues. The Labor Department reported that 227-thousand jobs were added in February. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3-percent. Nigel Gault, Chief US Economist at IHS Global Insight says we are seeing signs that things are picking up.
“We’re getting both getting jobs created, and people who previously had given up looking for jobs, coming back and starting to look again. That’s what we saw today.”
China to add to squeeze on world corn supply
Beijing and the influential USDA may have overstated China's corn crop by as much as 14 percent, pointing to higher imports from the world's second-largest consumer of the grain that could squeeze already tightening global supplies.
If China plugs the gap between projected and actual domestic supply with additional corn imports, it would drive up international prices already near four-month highs. Wheat markets could feel the impact too if Beijing snaps up the grain as a substitute to corn for animal feed.
Pork Tenderloin Receives Approval from American Heart Association
The American Heart Association has certified the pork tenderloin as an extra lean meat. Pork Checkoff manager of nutrition communications and research Adria Sheil-Brown says Heart checkmark will be displayed on pork tenderloin package labels in the meat-case.
“What’s exciting about the American Heart Association Heart Checkmark is that they’re the most prominent and recognized symbol on food packaging today. Some of their controlled studies have shown that by having this on a product it increases sales by 5%. This is controlled testing.”
Sheil-Brown says the American Heart Association designation is something consumers trust.
Today’s Farm Fact:
U.S. farms sold $369 billion in goods in 2010—that’s bigger than the GDPs of nearly 200 countries.