South Carolina Sees Drought Relief

Heavy rains in the past week or so seem to be breaking the drought in South Carolina. State Climatologist Hope Mizzell says many areas have received beneficial precipitation with rainfall totals ranging from just over 1 inch to more than 10 inches in places.

Last month, the state Drought Response Committee declared six counties in the upper Savannah River Basin to be in severe drought status after one of the driest and warmest winters on record.

But in the past week, Murrells Inlet received almost 10 inches of rain and Lyman almost 8 inches. Wheat and tobacco losses from heavy rains in Horry County have been reported.

For more on the drought, listen to Kyle Bridgers, Independent meteorologist with Southern Farm Network and HERE every week.   

Got to Be NC Festival Underway Today

We’ve been talking about it all week —-the 5th Annual Got to Be NC Festival that gets underway today at noon at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Director of motorsports for the Festival, Pat Short says on Saturday RFD TV will be doing some taping at the Festival:

“Max Armstrong will be here on Saturday filming for his show. We hope to be on national TV in the next few weeks.”

The Got to Be NC Festival gets underway today at noon at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. For more information visit their website.

Mid-priced Restaurants Given Bad Grade on Fat & Sodium

A new study conducted by the Rand Corporation warns that fat — and especially sodium — are unacceptably high in many foods found at sit down chain restaurants. Assistant Policy Analyst Helen Wu says places like McDonald's actually do better:

“We have data that show fast food restaurants actually have lower levels of calories and fat and sodium than family style sit down restaurants, such as Denny’s or Red Lobster.”

Most restaruants offer nutritional information online. You can see McDonald's here.

U.S. Consumers Can Expect to See More Meat Available This Year

The U.S. population is expanding – along with the demand for meat. However – World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says meat production is not expanding – with an estimated production increase of just one-percent for next year. Bange says that’s because beef production continues to decrease – potentially falling four-percent this year and two-and-a-half-percent next year:

“What this reflects is the very low inventory of animals. Everyone knows we have the lowest cattle inventory we’ve had in many years. We do expect beef production to continue decreasing.”

That means beef cattle prices and retail beef prices will continue increasing – too. Bange says there will be more pork, chicken and turkey available – meaning an overall meat increase of two-and-a-half percent.

US Beef Exports Lower in First Quarter

Beef exports in the first quarter of this year have been sluggish compared with a year ago, perhaps due to a slightly strengthening U.S. dollar through first-quarter 2012. Total U.S. beef exports are expected to decrease in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 compared with year-earlier levels as less beef is available for export. 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.