Coronavirus could pare meat consumption by 10 pounds per American
The coronavirus, which has shut down meat plants and put millions of people out of work, will reduce American meat consumption by 4 percent, or 10 pounds per person, this year, said the government on Tuesday in a new assessment of the impact of the pandemic on food and agriculture
Fearing the spread of Covid-19, workers strike at three fruit facilities in Washington State
Workers at three fruit packing facilities in Washington State have gone on strike to protest what they say are inadequate protections against the spread of Covid-19. The strikes come as outbreaks of the virus continue to spread throughout facilities where the nation’s food is processed, from meatpacking plants to produce packing houses.
House coronavirus bill boosts SNAP, other public nutrition programs
The $3-trillion coronavirus bill backed by House Democrats would increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent and put $4 billion into other public nutrition programs, according to summaries released by the House Appropriations Committee.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Coronavirus aid getting closer (FERN’s Ag Insider): The USDA scheduled a webinar for Thursday to brief farmers and ranchers about the information they will need to provide, “once the application period begins,” for $16 billion in coronavirus payments planned by USDA. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he expects the aid program to go into operation around June 1.
Food inflation surge in April (Ag Insider): Food prices rose by 3.5 percent overall during April, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The USDA has forecast a 1-percent increase in supermarket prices for this year and a USDA economist said the April surge will prompt a “very hard” look at that forecast.
Fewer food inspections during pandemic (USA Today): Federal and state officials have curtailed inspection of food processing plants because of the coronavirus, with a resulting decline in recalls and investigations of food-borne illnesses.
China buys U.S. soybeans (USDA): Private exporters reported the sale of 138,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans worth $43 million for delivery to China, the third large sale of corn and soybeans to Chinese buyers in a week.