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In the latest drought monitor for North Carolina, the state’s lingering dry conditions declined slightly, last week more than 69% of the state was drought free, the latest report shows 65% of the state with adequate moisture. The area of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions is up to almost 35% from just over 30% in the previous report, but the area has shifted east. Now, all the abnormally dry conditions are in the Coastal Plain, from Hoke County to the southwest, to North Hampton County on the Virginia state line. Only Brunswick and New Hanover counties on the southern tip of the state in the Coastal Plain are drought free. Less than one percent of the commonwealth of Virginia is now showing abnormally dry conditions in the tidewater region of the state.

South Carolina’s Drought Conditions Remain Steady

After a dramatic week-over-week improvement in South Carolina’s drought monitor, this week abnormally dry conditions remain steady. Three counties, Dillon, Marion and Horry are showing some areas of abnormally dry conditions, equaling just over 2% of the state. Just shy of 98% of the state continues to be drought free.

Stabenow Says Farm Bill Could Take Some Time in Senate

While the Senate is expected to begin consideration of the farm bill today- Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says final votes might take place after Memorial Day. Harry Reid has announced his intention to move forward with the bill – but has also said he will move to immigration reform as soon as the Senate Judiciary Committee finishes mark up on that bill – even if the farm bill isn’t finished.

Why Senator Roberts Voted Against Senate Ag's Farm Bill

Everyone involved in agriculture agrees and understands that farmers need certainty. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, a pivotal, and long-term member of the House Ag Committee says he wants a farm bill passed – but he won’t support one that is not a reform bill. That’s one of the reasons he voted against the Senate Ag Committee’s farm bill on Tuesday…

“I think this bill is a rear view mirror bill. I don’t think it’s a reform bill. The bottom line is that farmers may have every opportunity during tough times to farm for the government as opposed to the market and I thought we had gone past those days and we would not shine the spot light of criticism on agriculture so broadly or brightly in regards to all of our critics.”

Syngenta Dedicates New Research Facility at RTP

Syngenta held a grand opening for their new growing facility in RTP on Friday. Bill Hlavac Head of Site Operations for Syngenta Biotechnology:

“This is truly one of a kind. It looks like a greenhouse but we don’t call it that. It’s a crop lab, an extension of our labs, and it’s the most sophisticated growing environment out there.” 

The new research facility is 136,000 square feet, or about an acre, under glass with 16 additional growth chambers, and is the single largest investment that Syngenta has made at any one site. 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.