Debt relief will be distributed as quickly, carefully as possible, says Vilsack
The USDA will disburse up to $4 billion in Biden-backed loan forgiveness to minority farmers as speedily as possible, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the first-ever House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of Black farmers. Farm state Republicans said the debt relief, intended as compensation for decades of racism, was itself discriminatory because white farmers are excluded.
Lessons from the pandemic: Broaden child nutrition, be flexible on rules
The government should permanently adopt the innovations of the pandemic that made school meals available when classrooms were idle and allowed WIC interviews by phone and video rather than requiring applicants to appear in person, said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Thursday.
Today’s Quick Hits
Bumper crop: World grain production is projected to surge 3 percent in 2021/22, to a record 2.287 million tonnes, led by the largest-ever wheat, corn, and barley harvests. (International Grains Council)
Sticky meat prices: Beef prices have stayed stubbornly high so far this year due to sustained demand, disruptions at packing plants caused by storms in February, and high feed costs for producers. (USDA)
Rodale expands in Midwest: The Rodale Institute, based in Pennsylvania, has hired two additional consultants to assist conventional farmers in the Midwest who want to convert to organic production. (Newslocker)
Taste and texture: Public perception remains a barrier to market expansion for planted-based meat alternatives. (Harvest Public Media)
Setback for CBD: Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner of the FDA, will leave the agency in mid-April, possibly slowing work on the regulation and marketing of CBD, a lucrative derivative of industrial hemp. (Hemp Industry Daily)