Farm bill 2018: Late, yes, but not as late as some
The 2018 farm bill, which President Trump could sign into law as early as next week, is more than two months overdue, largely because of a fight over SNAP work requirements that led Rep. Collin Peterson to say, “I don’t know if we’re ever going to get another one done.” The past decade has provided ample reason for doubt.
China takes a nibble of U.S. soybeans, but not enough to reassure growers
China made its first major purchase of U.S. soybeans since Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed two weeks ago to try to settle the Sino-U.S. trade dispute, said the USDA on Thursday. The purchase, however, was too small to convince growers that China will return to its role as the biggest customer for U.S. soy exports.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Shoddy hog farm oversight (EWG): Documents obtained by the Environmental Working Group reveal lax state oversight of North Carolina’s hog farms; one region with 731 hog operations has only three inspectors.
Whole Foods splits with Instacart (Forbes): Amazon’s Whole Foods will end its partnership with Instacart, a food delivery service. More than 350 Instacart shoppers will lose their jobs.
Goodbye, Initiative 77 (Washington City Paper): A last-minute attempt to revive Washington, D.C.’s referendum to eliminate the tipped minimum wage was deemed moot due to a technicality.
Program to boost rural broadband (USDA): A USDA pilot program will offer $600 million in grants and low-interest loans to bring high-speed internet service to rural areas and towns with fewer than 20,000 residents that have either no or slow broadband access.
Durbin to sit on Senate ag panel (Senate Democrats): Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, No. 2 in Democratic leadership, will serve on the Agriculture Committee in 2019 and 2020, joining the panel’s eight returning Democrats.
Record soybean crop in Brazil (USDA): The country is headed for a record soybean harvest of 122 million tonnes, 1 percent larger than the mark set in 2017/18, thanks to the 13th straight year of larger plantings and to favorable weather ahead of the harvest that begins in January.
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