Chaotic Spring – June 4, 2019

Chaotic spring may lead Trump administration to loosen limits on trade aid

USDA lawyers may have an answer this week on whether Trump tariff payments, intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war, can be given to farmers unable to plant a crop this year, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.

School participation in federal free lunch and breakfast program continues to grow, report finds

Nearly 13.6 million students are now receiving free breakfast and lunch through the community eligibility program, a federal initiative that has previously been targeted for cuts by Republicans, according to a new report. That figure is a 14-percent increase in the past year alone.

One-third of U.S. corn crop yet to be planted

Normally, the corn-planting season is over by the first week of June, but this year, 31 million acres — one-third of the intended corn land nationwide — have yet to be sown due to a persistently rainy spring. Soybean planting is also far behind schedule.

House passes disaster bill by large margin on fourth attempt

The long-delayed, $19.1-billion disaster bill is on its way to the White House for President Trump’s signature. The House passed the bill, which includes $3 billion in agricultural aid, 354-58.


Corteva begins trading (Wall Street Journal): Corteva, the seed and chemical company formed by the 2017 merger between Dow and DuPont, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

‘Forever chemicals’ in our food (AP): An FDA study into the prevalence of PFAS found substantial levels of the chemical, which is used to make nonstick cookware, in foods including meat and chocolate cake.

Brazil halts beef sales to China (Reuters): The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry said beef shipments to China, the No. 1 customer for exported beef, were halted temporarily due to discovery of an atypical case of mad cow disease in a 17-year-old animal.

Ernst gets another challenger (Quad City Times): Theresa Greenfield, who grew up on a farm in Minnesota and now runs a real estate business in Des Moines, is the third Democrat to announce a run for the Senate against Republican Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Deadly year for gray whales (USA Today): At least 70 gray whales have stranded themselves on the West Coast this year, prompting NOAA to launch an investigation of an “unusual mortality event” that could become the deadliest year on record for the species.

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