Court losses are only temporary setbacks, says ethanol industry – July 6, 2021

Court losses are only temporary setbacks, says ethanol industry

Despite losing two high-profile cases in seven days, the ethanol industry says the future is bright for the corn-based biofuel that it promotes as a low-carbon alternative to gasoline and a tool to slow global warming.

Ongoing delays in P-EBT slow rollout of Biden’s summer food programs

More than two months since the Biden administration announced the most ambitious summer food program in U.S. history, the USDA has approved benefits distribution plans for just 18 states — even with school out of session across the country.

In Maine, residents rise up against industrial-scale aquaculture

A proposal by a Norwegian-owned company to build two massive salmon farms in the middle of a pristine bay next to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, has the community in revolt over fears that they will foul the water and ruin the local fishing and shellfish industries.

Preliminary injunction against USDA debt relief for minority farmers

A federal judge in Fort Worth agreed with white farmers that they were unfairly excluded by Congress from a loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers and issued a preliminary injunction that bars the USDA “from discriminating on account of race or ethnicity” in running the debt relief program.

Relying on birds to battle farm pests

In California, farmers are building nesting houses for birds, attracting swallows, Western blue birds, and barn owls to combat pests, rather than relying on pesticides, according to the latest story produced in collaboration with KQED’s The California Report.

Today’s Quick Hits

Left out at USDA: Minority-group farmers get less than their proportional share of USDA loans, according to an analysis of loan programs. Advocates for Black farmers say the Biden administration must address obstacles such as loan terms that favor large and wealthy farms. (Politico)

Large-scale fallowing: Drought and tightening regulations on pumping groundwater have put California farmers at “the beginning of a large-scale fallowing of land,” said the chief executive of Western Growers. (The Packer)

How to make it right?: Georgia farmer Stacie Marshall represents “the national soul-searching writ small”: Are the descendants of people who enslaved others responsible for that wrong, and how do they make things right? (New York Times)

Hunger target miss: The world will miss the goal of eliminating hunger by 2030 and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will increase without an “agri-food systems transformation,” said the leaders of the FAO and OECD. (FAO)

Pandemic cotton recovery: “After one of the most traumatic and disruptive years in living memory,” global cotton production is forecast to rise by nearly 6 percent and return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021/22. (ICAC)

On The Calendar

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Democratic Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez tour a food distribution center, 4:45 p.m. ET, Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

U.S. Soybean Export Council holds webinar, “African swine fever: Overlook and global situation”, with Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian of the National Pork Producers Council, as the speaker, 9 a.m. ET. The webinar is the first of a three-webinar series.

Purdue University releases the Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly gauge of the health of the farm sector.

USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “will make a major announcement about water infrastructure investments across the country” after visiting a water treatment facility, says the USDA, 11:45 a.m. ET, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico.

Trade ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States discuss achievements during the first year of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and opportunities to ensure long-term economic growth in the three nations, Mexico City.

National Agricultural Law Center holds a webinar, “Voluntary approaches to agricultural water pollution reduction,” noon ET.

School Nutrition Association releases its Back to School 2021 Report, dealing with top concerns for school meal programs going into the 2021/22 school year.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, measuring the monthly change in international prices for a basket of food commodities, Rome.

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