South Carolina Governor Vetoes $40 million Farm Aid Bill

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.

South Carolina National Guard flood response

A levee breach at the Columbia Riverfront Canal, Columbia, S.C., during a statewide flood Oct. 5, 2015. The South Carolina National Guard has been activated to support state and county emergency management agencies and local first responders as historic flooding impacts counties statewide. Currently, more than 1,100 South Carolina National Guard members have been activated in response to the floods. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

Read more here.

Supreme Court Ruling on Horne v. Department of Agriculture – Taking Raisins

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Horne v. Department of Agriculture on June 22, 2015.

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.”

Midwest Most Product Region in the World

Illinois State Climatologist

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.

The magnitude of fluorescence portrayed in this visualization prompted researchers to take a closer look at the productivity of the U.S. Corn Belt. The glow represents fluorescence measured from land plants in early July, over a period from 2007 to 2011. Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The magnitude of fluorescence portrayed in this visualization prompted researchers to take a closer look at the productivity of…

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