SC’s Drought Response Committee Declares the State Drought-Free

A winter of steady rainfall has pulled South Carolina out of drought for the first time in more than three years. The state's Drought Response Committee voted Wednesday to lift the state's parched status because of above normal rainfall over the past five months.

State climatologist Hope Mizell says the last time the state was drought-free was in December 2009, going on to say that Charleston has had one of its wettest winters and early springs ever.

However, the USDA Drought Monitor released yesterday shows 33% of the state still experiencing abnormally dry conditions, and more than 10% of the state in moderate drought.

Sanderson Farms Comments on Further Expansion Plans

Earlier this year, Sanderson Farms announced they were abandoning plans for a second chicken processing plant in eastern north Carolina, citing production costs and stagnant demand. Lumpkin Butts, CEO of Sanderson Farms says they have another site in mind:

“We’ve announced a new complex in Texas but we haven’t announced a date to start, but we have picked a site.” 

Sanderson Farms have developed a reputation of measured expansion, and will continue in that mode says Butts:

“We will continue to grow and expand. Other companies in our industry have grown differently, by acquiring lines, we are the only one that has grown from the ground up.” 

Of course, Butts is referring to the Kinston, NC plant opened in 2011.

Comment Period for the Proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Extended

As predicted, the FDA has issued Federal Register notices to extend the comment periods on the proposed rules the Produce Safety proposed rule until September 16, 2013.

These proposals, originally published in the Federal Register for public comment on January 16, 2013, are the first of five proposed rules that would establish the foundation of, and central framework for, the modern food safety system envisioned by Congress in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The Agency granted the extension of the comment period based on formal, written requests from many interested persons and groups that indicated more time was needed to respond fully to FDA’s specific requests for comments 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.