FDA: Coronavirus disrupts supply chain for U.S. animal drugs
Six firms are seeing disruptions in the supply chain because of Covid-19 that could lead to shortages of animal drugs for the U.S. market, said the FDA in an update. Some 32 animal drug companies make finished drugs or buy active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for use in the United States, said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn late last week. “[S]ix of those firms have indicated that they are seeing disruptions in the supply chain that soon could lead to shortages.”
USDA offers $100 million to boost higher blends of biofuels
Grants totaling $100 million will be available to install or retrofit fuel pumps and storage tanks to handle higher blends of corn ethanol and biodiesel than now commonly offered, said the USDA, with details to be available by mid-spring.
New USDA leaders for civil rights and rural development
Devon Westhill will be sworn into office this week as USDA deputy assistant secretary for civil rights, effectively putting him in charge of an office that has not had a Senate-confirmed leader under President Trump.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
New disaster aid includes sugar beets (USDA): With $1.5 billion in additional funding from Congress, USDA adds drought and excessive moisture to the weather damages in 2018 and 2019 that are eligible for disaster relief.
Drought chances in California: 80 percent (Capital Public Radio): After the driest February on record in parts of the state, there’s an 80-percent chance of a full-blown drought in California this year.
Mississippi Delta, the ‘next California’ (World Wildlife Fund): The Delta, which begins at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and covers eastern Arkansas, northwestern Mississippi, western Tennessee and southeastern Missouri, could be the next major producer of fruits and vegetables due to a warming climate.
Founder of Trader Joe’s dies (Washington Post): Joe Coulombe, the “Joe” who founded Trader Joe’s, a specialty grocery chain, died at age 89 in his home in Pasadena, California.
Not missing a paycheck (Iowa Starting Line): Ethanol maker Quad County Corn Processors lowered production volumes and took a longer than usual shutdown for maintenance in order to weather a sour market for biofuels, but it hasn’t missed payroll.
Grapes and almonds and salt (The Counter): Researchers in California use techniques as basic as scouting for wild grapes and as exotic as examining almond genes in the search for varieties that can withstand salty soils and still produce a desirable crop.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– Delegates elect new National Farmers Union president at annual convention, 3:30 p.m. ET, Savannah, Georgia. Roger Johnson is retiring after 11 years as NFU leader. The convention continues through Tuesday.
– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks to National Farmers Union convention, 8:30 a.m. ET, and tours Port of Savannah, 10:30 a.m. ET, Savannah, Georgia.
– FMI Food Industry Association and North American Meat Institute hold Annual Meat Conference, through Wednesday, Nashville.
– National Anti-Hunger Policy conference, sponsored by Food Research and Action Center, continues through March 3, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington.
– AFFI-CON, sponsored by American Frozen Food Institute continues through Tuesday, Las Vegas.
– Super Tuesday. Fourteen states hold primaries with one-third of delegates to the Democratic National Convention at stake. Primaries are in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia as well as American Samoa.
– FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn and Director Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are lead witnesses at Senate Health Committee hearing, “An emerging disease threat: How the United States is responding to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus,” 10 a.m. ET, 430 Dirksen.
– House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture holds “member day” hearing, 10 a.m. ET, 2362-A Rayburn.
– Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, providing a sense of the agricultural economy’s health.
– Consumer Brands Association holds food labeling workshop, through Thursday, Washington.
– Natural Products Expo West, through Saturday, Anaheim, California.
– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testifies at House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the rural economy, 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth. For details, click here.
– National Pork Industry Forum, through Friday, Kansas City. Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach is to speak on Friday.
– USDA releases U.S. and Canadian Hogs and U.S. and Canadian Cattle and Sheep reports, 3 p.m. ET.
– UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.
– Northeast Organic Farmers Association holds Connecticut winter conference, Middletown.
– School Nutrition Association holds annual Legislative Action Conference, through March 10, Washington.
– National Grain and Feed Association holds 124th annual convention, through March 10, Austin, Texas.