Burst of USDA top-up pandemic payments to farmers
Farmers have received $4.8 billion in long-promised payments of $20 an acre on crops that range from corn, soybeans, and wheat to sorghum and sugar beets, said USDA data on Monday. It was the largest disbursement of coronavirus relief funds since the Biden administration took office.
Farm groups ask Supreme Court to block California’s Prop 12
With California’s Proposition 12 animal welfare law set to go into effect on Jan. 1, two farm groups asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the voter-approved standards as an unconstitutional burden on farmers and consumers everywhere. Prop 12 bans the sale of pork products that are produced outside the state but do not match California’s rules.
Today’s Quick Hits
More U.S. aid: During a Wednesday trip to Colorado, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to announce a comprehensive set of investments to address challenges facing agriculture, including market disruptions, climate change, and animal diseases. (Ag Insider)
Thirsty California air: An unusually hot and dry summer accelerated the evaporation of water from plants and soils in California and helped put half the state into a condition of “exceptional” drought. (Los Angeles Times)
Another rural cyberhack: Less than a week after cybercriminals attacked NEW Cooperative in northern Iowa, Crystal Valley, a Minnesota co-op that operates eight grain elevators, was hit with a ransomware attack. (Farms.com)
No to GMO: Flour millers in Brazil threatened to stop buying wheat from neighboring Argentina if regulators approve imports of GMO wheat developed by that country’s Bioceres SA, said the head of a wheat industry group. (Reuters)
Bleak climate prospects: The UN climate summit in November is unlikely to produce the breakthrough needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, say people familiar with proposals from individual countries. (Guardian)