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Latest Drought Monitor Static with Previous Week

In spite of recent rains, the latest drought monitor released Thursday by USDA shows the area of abnormally dry conditions the same as the previous week. Roughly 95% of the state is drought-free, with about 5% showing abnormally dry conditions in the far southern Coastal Plain. The Counties of Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow, the eastern end of Craven and the western part of Carteret continue to report abnormally dry conditions.

Palmetto State Remains Virtually Drought Free

Only 3 ¾ percent of the Palmetto state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions as reported in the latest drought monitor released by USDA on Thursday. The numbers are the same as the previous week with more than 96% of the state drought free and only the coastal area of Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton and southeastern Charleston Counties are reporting abnormally dry conditions. This time last year, all but a fraction of the state, .13%, was in some level of drought.
Today’s USDA Reports Could Yield Some Surprises

USDA reports on grain stocks and crop production today at noon, and the trade has been positioning itself all week. Analyst Arlan Suderman with Water Street Solutions says the first reports of the year are historically full of surprises…

“Five of the last seven January reports have produced daily limit moves in corn, both up and down. I don’t expect that this time around. If we were to get a bearish report, the trade is already leaning heavily to that side.”
GMA and Others Look for National, Voluntary GMO Labeling Standard

Some in the food industry that have been fighting state efforts to mandate labels for genetically modified organisms are now pushing for a federal GMO law. The Grocery Manufacturers Association wants an industry-friendly law with a voluntary federal standard. Those supporting the idea say they are trying to find a national solution for labeling – rather than having to navigate various state laws for every packaged food item on the grocery shelf.

McDonald’s to Buy Verified Sustainable Beef

McDonald’s is committed to purchasing verified sustainable beef during 2016 – after a two-year ramp up in which the corporation will listen, learn and collaborate with stakeholders from farm to the front counter to develop sustainable beef solutions. Changing up its beef supply is a big undertaking for the chain that sells about a billion pounds of beef each year in the U.S.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.