Climate mitigation is actually agricultural market development, says Vilsack
The USDA will put a “significant” amount of money into large-scale pilot projects of climate-smart agricultural practices to create new markets for sustainably produced products, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday. In announcing the initiative, which would go into effect next year, he painted dollar signs on his picture of climate mitigation.
‘State of emergency’ in drought-hit U.S. forests
The government needs to quicken the pace of its fuel reduction work in public forests at the same time that it marshals enough crews to fight wildfires, said Forest Service chief Randy Moore at a House hearing on Wednesday. “The sobering takeaway: America’s forests are in a state of emergency, and it’s time to treat them like one.”
‘Lord God Bird’ among 23 species declared extinct
The ivory-billed woodpecker, America’s largest woodpecker, with a 31-inch wingspan, is extinct, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ending years of lingering hopes that the “Lord God Bird” had survived deep in southern bottomland forests. The ivory-bill was one of 23 species declared extinct on Wednesday, 11 of them birds.
Today’s Quick Hits
Minnesota drought assistance: Gov. Tim Walz proposed a $10 million package of drought aid, divided evenly between rapid response grants of up to $5,000 to crop and livestock producers and a disaster recovery loan program at the Rural Finance Authority. (Farms.com)
Income up 42 percent: Sharply higher market prices for corn, soybeans, hogs, and other commodities are the primary reason for a projected 42 percent increase in net farm income, to a record $4.48 billion, in Missouri this year. (FAPRI)
Bird protections: The Interior Department finalized a rule toughening penalties — relaxed by the Trump administration — for unintentional deaths of migratory birds through such activities as energy production, construction, and land development. (Washington Post)
Climate risk: Food companies, including Nestlé and Campbell Soup, are among 50 large companies that are “highly exposed” to the impacts of climate change, says an investor group. (Food Dive)
Guinea hen posse: Turning the tables on a predator, a group of guinea hens on a Maine farm charged at a bobcat and drove it 100 yards away from the barnyard, which was filled with other fowl, the owner reported. (Bangor Daily News)