House votes to double coronavirus payments to agriculture
Senate Republicans will ignore the “unserious” $3-trillion coronavirus relief bill passed along party lines by the House in favor of steps such as liability shields for employers, said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The House bill included $16.5 billion for cash payments to farmers and ranchers, double the amount in the package now awaiting approval by the White House budget office.
Coalition calls for ‘corporate’ meat boycott
Thanks to falling production and rising prices, Americans are expected to eat less meat this year than last. But a coalition of groups led by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) wants Americans to cut back even further, calling for a boycott on “corporate” meat until working conditions in meatpacking plants improve.
Worst may be over, says ethanol leader
Ethanol production fell to record lows during April due to the coronavirus but is showing modest signs of recovery, said Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association. “It seems that the worst may be behind us,” Cooper said during a teleconference.
Perdue joins coronavirus task force
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, chosen by President Trump to oversee the reopening of meat plants, is now a member of the White House coronavirus task force, “which is focused on getting Americans back to work and allowing businesses to reopen,” said the White House.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
School meal waivers extended (USDA): The USDA extended through Aug. 31 three waivers that facilitate meals for children during the coronavirus pandemic by allowing grab-and-go meals, allowing parents to pick up meals for their children and allowing children to eat at home rather than having to dine together.
WTO chief to leave a year early (WTO): Director general Roberto Azevedo announced he will step down Aug. 31, one year before the end of his second term as head of WTO, and says this will allow WTO members to pick his successor and then focus on potential reforms of the organization at its 2021 ministerial meeting.
One billion meals (CBS): Since March, U.S. food banks have served over a billion meals to hungry Americans, said the chief executive of the Feeding America network of food banks, and over the next 12 months demand is estimated to exceed 8 billion meals.
More Arkansas interest in hemp (HID): Most Arkansas hemp farmers lost money on the crop last year but state agriculture officials have issued even more licenses to grow industrial hemp this year, 152, than last year.
JBS sees ‘enormous volatility’ (Reuters): Brazil-based meat company JBS reported a loss of $1 billion for the first quarter of the year and executives said the company faces “enormous volatility” in trying to estimate costs and product prices due to the coronavirus pandemic.
90 days to apply (USDA): Applications will be accepted until Aug. 13 for a share of $100 million in grant money for projects to build infrastructure that will encourage sale of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– Purdue University livestreams panel discussion on “Covid-19 supply chain disruptions and implications for consumers,” 11 a.m. ET.
– USDA releases Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, noon ET.
– USDA releases monthly Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA issues weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Farmdoc Daily Live holds webinar, “What is the outlook for the ethanol industry going forward?”, noon ET.
– Council for Agricultural Science and Technology holds webinar on its new paper, “The need and challenge for effective stewardship of new pest management technologies in agriculture,” 1 p.m. ET.
– Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, “Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency,” 10 a.m. ET, 106 Dirksen.
– Farm Credit Council holds webinar, “Covid-19 impacts on fruit and vegetable producers,” 11 a.m. ET. To register, click here.
– USDA releases monthly Cold Storage and Livestock Slaughter reports, 3 p.m. ET.
– Farmdoc Daily Live holds webinar, “Cornavirus and the pork industry: Perspectives from the Maschoffs,” noon ET.
– USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook, 9 a.m. ET.
– USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report, 3 p.m. ET.
– Memorial Day, honoring men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. Observed originally as Decoration Day following the Civil War, Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. Waterloo, New York, is credited as the birthplace of Memorial Day because it hosted an annual community-wide observance in which businesses close and residents put flowers and flag at the graves of soldier, says History.com. In 1868, former General John Logan of Illinois proposed a nationwide day of remembrance of the war dead.