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North Carolina

In the latest drought monitor for North Carolina, the state held steady with abnormally dry conditions. The most current reading is the same as the week before with 65 ½ % of the state drought free, and 34 12 % of the state in abnormally dry conditions, all in the Coastal Plain. Counties from Johnston in the west to Hyde in the east are all reporting abnormally dry conditions. Less than one percent of the Commonwealth of Virginia is reporting abnormally dry conditions, in the Tidewater region just over the North Carolina state line.

South Carolina Remains Drought Free

South Carolina remains drought free as reported in the latest drought monitor released by USDA. It’s only been five months, the start of the calendar year when the Palmetto state was reporting less than one percent of the state as being without drought, and more than 2% of the state was in extreme drought.

New BSE Status Could Increase Beef Exports

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has upgraded the United States' risk classification for BSE, or Mad Cow disease to its safest level, which could increase U.S. beef exports, the U.S. Agriculture Department said last week.

The new risk category was a "strong foundation" for increasing U.S. beef and beef product exports, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Vilsack went on to say the United States would press its trading partners "to base their decisions on science, consistent with international standards."

The US lost BSE-free status with the Alberta, Canada born cow that stole Christmas in December of 2003, and three other cases have been found since, with the most recent being in April 2012.

The ranking puts the United States among countries said to have the lowest risk for the fatal, brain-wasting disease formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

National Corn Growers Yield Contest Deadline Nears

With only two weeks left to take advantage of the early registration discount, the National Corn Growers Association reminds those interested in the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest that time remains to enjoy valuable savings while participating in the program. The online entry format makes entry quick and simple, but growers wishing to take advantage of the reduced $80 per hybrid entry fee must do so by June 15. After that, NCGA will continue to accept entries until the July 12 deadline, but fees will return to the normal rate of $110 per hybrid.

Hurricane Season Underway

The Atlantic hurricane season officially got underway Saturday. And authorities are urging folks to be prepared. Forecasters say 17 to 20 named storms. National Hurricane Center Director Richard Knabb says folks should be prepared.

“There are so many things you don’t want to be standing in line for at the last minute, you need to go get those supplies now.”

USDA Releases New Ag Import, Export Forecast

U.S. Department of Agriculture economists have again trimmed the agricultural export forecast from 142-billion to 139.5-billion. USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber says this decline is mainly due to the decline in corn exports…

“In February we were looking at corn exports around $8 billion, that is down to about $6 billion right now. A lot of that is volume.”

Corn shipments are now forecast at 19.5-million tons – down 4.5-million from the February forecast. s are projected this season. 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.