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Drought Conditions Continue to Improve in the Carolinas and Nationwide

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the U.S. continues to show improvements under drought monitoring with the numbers steadily going down.

“Looking at the latest US drought monitor, for the morning of March 12, its now indicating just 51.38% of the continental US is in drought, down almost 2 full percentage points from a week ago. If you look at longer time periods, we have seen considerable improvements since the beginning of 2013, down 7.75% and since the peak of 65.45% in late September 2012, we have dropped fourteen percentage points.”

Dry Conditions in the Tar Heel State Continue to Improve

North Carolina’s drought conditions continue to slowly improve as reported in the latest drought monitor. The percentage of the state considered drought free is now just over 73%, up from just under 73% last week. The percentage of the state reporting abnormally dry conditions is down slightly as well, from 27 to 26%, but the portion of the state reporting moderate drought conditions remains the same at just shy of 7% in the south central Piedmont from Anson County back to the north east to Lee County.

South Carolina’s Drought Conditions Show Marginal Improvement

In South Carolina’s latest drought monitor, the percentage of the state showing no drought conditions has increased from 24% to 27%. The portion of the state in abnormally dry conditions decreased slightly from 75% to 72%, as well as the percentage of the state reporting moderate drought conditions decreased from 51% to 47%. The area of the state reporting severe drought conditions remained the same at just over 8%, along the South Carolina – Georgia border.

To see more on the drought monitor click here

 South Carolina & Georgia Legislators Discuss Work on Savannah River

Georgia and South Carolina lawmakers who represent districts along the Savannah River plan to meet next month to discuss several topics.
Among the issues: Securing cooperation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding recreation on lakes in the upper part of the river.
Legislators representing constituents downstream are also eager to talk to their counterparts about deepening the shipping channel and developing a port in Jasper County, S.C.

The meeting is set to take place in Columbia, S.C., on April 16.

Consumer Prices Increase Largest in Four Years

The government says consumer prices increased 7 tenths of a per cent last month…the largest increase in nearly four years. Economist Nariman Behravesh says this is not the start of an inflationary cycle….

“This is all about gasoline prices and the fact that they rose quite a bit in the last few months.”

Type of Crop Insurance Fraud Discovered in NC ‘Rare’

Regarding the recent news of massive insurance fraud in North Carolina involving crop insurance, the president of the National Crop Insurance Services, Tom Zacharias released a statement that in part said….”It should be noted that such instances of fraud and abuse are very rare because of strict monitoring programs to catch irregularities…” for Zacharias’ entire statement, click here.

Shopper Loyalty Cards Doing Double Duty

The shopper cards issued by supermarkets and warehouse stores do more than provide access to discounts, they also allow stores to record the purchases each customer makes. Public-health officials now see another application of purchase data – identifying food-safety hazards and preventing widespread outbreaks of food-borne illness.

According to a report from NBC News, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and some state health departments have used shopper-card data to identify exactly which foods a patient purchased and ate. They then can cross-reference the list with those from other patients and identify the source of food-borne illness.

To read more on this topic, click here is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.