Biden seeks full-scale summer food program for children
Building on P-EBT benefits created in response to the coronavirus, President Biden proposed a vast expansion of the USDA’s summer food program on Wednesday that would be available to the 22 million children who eat school meals for free or at a reduced price. The White House also called for expanding a program that provides free school meals to all children in high-poverty neighborhoods.
To tax wealth, Biden would narrow ‘stepped-up basis’ loophole
President Biden proposed stricter application of capital gains taxes, potentially generating billions of dollars in federal revenue, on Wednesday by restricting use of the decades-old “stepped-up basis” that reduces liability on inherited property. Although the White House said it would not increase taxes on heirs who want to keep the family farm running, the largest U.S. farm group was skeptical that the protection could be fashioned into law.
‘Now is the time’ to boost USDA funding, say farm groups
Lawmakers should increase funding for the USDA’s land stewardship programs as part of the administration’s infrastructure bill because funding will probably be tight when Congress writes the 2023 farm bill, dozens of farm, conservation, and environmental groups said in a letter.
For thousands of farmworkers, a dangerous — and now potentially deadly — commute
It’s 1 a.m. and the stars are out as hundreds of people shuffle slowly along the wall that forms the border with the U.S. in the small Mexican city of San Luis Río Colorado. In heavy boots and wide-brimmed straw hats, almost everyone here is headed to work in the vegetable fields of Yuma County, Arizona. Bundled against the frigid November air in puffy coats and fleece blankets, they carry thermoses of hot coffee and mini coolers packed with breakfast and lunch, often small, tightly rolled meat burritos. The wait to get through the small port of entry averages two hours but on some days can take as many as four.
Today’s Quick Hits
Nix on credits: Microsoft has rejected tens of thousands of carbon credits offered by agricultural projects because of the difficulty of measuring their climate benefits, spotlighting one of the challenges of farmer participation in a carbon market. (Reuters)
WIC incentive: The USDA has offered states and tribes up to $490 million to increase the value of WIC vouchers for four months so participants can buy more fresh fruit and vegetables. (Food and Nutrition Service)
Wine’s weather woes: At least one-third of the wine harvest has been lost and many other crops were damaged in what could be France’s worst agricultural disaster of the century — a widespread April freeze that followed a warm March. (Washington Post)
U.S. potato victory: A ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court cleared the way for imports of U.S.-grown potatoes after a decade of opposition by domestic growers. (Idaho State Journal)
Asparagus giveaway: Owyhee Produce gave away 80,000 to 100,000 pounds of asparagus because although the crop was ready for harvest, the farm was still waiting for guest workers under the H-2A visa program to arrive. (Capital Press)