2012 Cotton Field Day Today

The bi-annual Cotton Field Day gets underway this afternoon at 12:30 at the Upper Coastal Plain Research & Extension Center near Rocky Mount. Plot tours will be in the afternoon followed by a dinner and speakers. For more information, directions as well as complete coverage, click here. Southern Farm Network’s coverage of the 2012 Cotton Field Day is brought to by our good friends at The Cotton Board and North Carolina Cotton Producers Association

US Debt Rating in Peril

America's budget… as the 2013 deal looms for Congress, a warning on the US government's debt rating. Moody's Investor Services foreshadows a possible rating downgrade that could lead toward a "fiscal cliff." As CBS MoneyWatch.com Editor-at-Large Jill Schlesinger explains extreme budget cuts and tax hikes could do damage to the economy.

“It seems that Moody’s wants to see a negotiation between democrats and republicans, where instead of automatic spending cuts that go into effect, and jarring income tax increases, that the two sides would come together and gradually implement a debt reduction plan.”

Budget Stop-Gap Resolution Scheduled this Week, Could Include Farm Bill Extension

The U.S. House plans to take up a stop-gap budget resolution later this week – and possibly with it – a farm bill extension.

The House is in session this week and just three days next week. It doesn’t leave much time for doing a full farm bill. Now the betting is that Congress will go home without doing one – and at most – just a short-term extension as part of a continuing resolution expected on the House floor Thursday.

American Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director Mark Maslyn says farm bill work done so far could be preserved if the 2008 law is extended until a post-election lame duck session. But he says a longer extension would spell trouble…

“If it goes into next year. For example, a one year extension or a six month extension. They will have to start over.”

But Maslyn acknowledges – it's more logical for House leaders to extend the bill into next year if they think a lame duck is unlikely to deal with the farm bill…

Leading Maslyn to conclude that if the House doesn't act very soon – there will be a one-year extension. But with just a week-and-a-half of legislative work days left in the House this month – some lawmakers and ag leaders have already reached that conclusion.


South Carolina Asks Fair-goers to Be Vigilant When Around Livestock

South Carolina health officials are warning visitors to the upcoming state fair to be vigilant about a new strain of swine flu.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday it is working with Clemson University to prevent the spread of the new flu strain known as H3N2v.

Interim State Epidemiologist Linda Bell says the virus circulates in pigs and has infected people in several states but not South Carolina. It can be directly transmitted between people and swine, but officials say people cannot get sick by eating properly handled and prepared pork products.

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