Moderate Drought Conditions Show Up in South Carolina

South Carolina’s Abnormally Dry conditions are fairly stable as reported in the latest drought monitor, for conditions through Tuesday morning, as reported by the Drought Mitigation Center.  Last week and this week just shy of 45% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.  However, the second stage of drought, moderate, has crept in to the far western regions of the state in Oconee and Anderson Counties.  The midlands and southern low country are drought free.

North Carolina’s Abnormally Dry Conditions Stable

In the latest drought monitor released by the Drought Mitigation Center, abnormally dry conditions, through Tuesday morning, in North Carolina are stable.  Last week, and this week, the percentage of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions is just shy of 85 ½ %, compared to none at the beginning of the calendar year.  Only portions of the upper Piedmont, towards the coast, portions of Hyde and Dare Counties, as well as southern Robeson and Columbus Counties along the South Carolina border are drought free.

Weather Forecast Through May 9th

Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist, with the national weather forecast for May third through the ninth.

“The cool air that is currently parked across the northern and western US will steadily settle to the east and south, so we’re looking at below normal temperatures from southern portions of the Rockies and Plains, on into much of the eastern US.  And we’re still looking for a rather active precipitation pattern, storm track, May 3rd through the 9th, most of the nation experiencing near to above normal precipitation.”

Lower Horsepower Tractors Bright Spot in Machine Sales

US retail sales of farm tractors under 40 horsepower were up 33 percent for March of 2016, and up 26 percent year-to-date. A report says the 2 wheel drive category of tractors between 40 and 100 horsepower saw sales increase 10 percent in March compared with a year ago. High horsepower tractors didn’t fare as well. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says sales of the smaller tractors benefit from a broad customer base in smaller acreage farms and some livestock operations.

Efforts to Protect Pollinators Expanding

Environmental Protection Agency Ag Liaison Ron Carleton explains one of the efforts to address pollinator health concerns – state managed pollinator protection plans.

“The other part of that pollinator health strategy is promoting state-managed pollinator protection plans, to get within each state conversations started between beekeepers, the agricultural community, applicators, local communities, local governments, state governments, to talk about what they can do to be working together to promote pollinators, and protect pollinator health.”'

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.