In a controversial move, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed a widely supported bill that would give farmers $40 million in aid after a massive two foot/12 hour rainfall in October.
The Department of Agriculture, through the Secretary of Agriculture, has authority to issue “marketing orders” that require growers of food goods to give up percentages of their crop to the government for free. In this case, specifically, it was raisins.
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects individuals constitutional right to personal property and prevents the government from taking people’s property without compensating them fairly.
In 2002-2003, raisin growers were required to turn over 47% of their crop to the government without any compensation, and in 2003-2004, raising growers were likewise required to turn over 30% of their annual growth yield. Marvin and Laura Horne refused, bringing this suit all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court held that the government, specifically the Department of Agriculture, must fairly compensate raising growers that are affected by the “market orders.”
According to a press release from NASA …
Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists.
They determined this by measuring the fluorescent glow that healthy plants give off when they grow. It is not visible to the human eye but can be picked up by special sensors on satellites. The press release has a lot more details.
If you click on the map, you can see the full version. While they don’t have any state boundaries, you can make out Lake Michigan. Based on that, it looks like one of the brightest areas is across central and northern Illinois – no surprise there.
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