Court: EPA must consider environmental impact when setting ethanol mandate
The U.S. appeals court in Washington unanimously ordered the EPA to reconsider its Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018 because it failed to account for the potential impact of full-throttle corn production on endangered species and habitat. The Sierra Club, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said the EPA will have to take the ruling into account in writing the RFS for 2020.
Dorian has limited impact on North Carolina manure lagoons
A handful of livestock farms reported high water levels in their manure lagoons, but no breaches or overflows, after Hurricane Dorian left North Carolina with limited damage compared to Hurricane Florence a year ago.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Undercover food bank for farmworkers (Santa Cruz Patch): A clandestine operation, relying on word-of-mouth to pass along its secret location in Santa Cruz County, delivers food donations “to people who can’t afford the food they harvest for others and are so worried about immigration enforcement that they are afraid to visit official food banks and sometimes even grocery stores.”
Houston doctor in running for FDA chief (Houston Chronicle): Stephen Hahn, the chief medical officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center, is one of three candidates for FDA commissioner; the others are acting commissioner Ned Sharpless and Harvard dermatology professor Alexa Kimball.
Brazil to hire short-term forest-fire cops (Reuters): Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said, due to funding shortages, Brazil will hire local environmental police to work on their days off to enforce federal rules, with hopes of getting the new force in the field before the peak deforestation and fire season begins next May or June.
Grocery strike may be averted (Los Angeles Times): Union members, who authorized a strike if need be, will begin voting today on a tentative contract with grocery chains Albertsons and Ralphs, which operate more than 500 stores from the Central Valley to California’s border with Mexico.
Lives disrupted as USDA agencies move (Washington Post): In the next few weeks the work lives of dozens of USDA employees will abruptly end, as their agencies, the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, move to Kansas City without them.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks at annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, 8 a.m. MT, Albuquerque. NASDA meets through Thursday.
– NFU hold annual Fly-In. Some 350 NFU members will meet USDA officials and visit congressional offices, through Wednesday, Washington.
– OECD-FAO briefing and discussion on agricultural outlook worldwide. 10:30 a.m. ET, Washington.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Census Bureau releases annual report on poverty and health insurance rates. Last year, Census said the U.S. poverty rate was 12.3 percent and the rural poverty rate was 14.8 percent. The rural poverty rate fell 1 percentage point from the previous year while the U.S. rate was 0.4 points lower.
– House Natural Resources Committee hearing, “BLM disorganization: Examining the proposed reorganization and relocation of the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado,” 10 a.m. ET, 1324 Longworth. For details, click here.
– University of Illinois holds webinar, “Is farmdoc the future of agricultural extension?” 1 p.m. ET. The traditional approach to agricultural extension — relying on a local agent to funnel information about crops and management to producers — “has been buffeted by a variety of forces in the last several decades, including the move towards larger farms and more diverse smaller farms, budget cuts, changing policies, and a revolution in digital technology,” say the organizers.
– Natural Products Expo East, through Saturday, Baltimore Convention Center.
– USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET. Traders expect a corn crop of 13.8-13.9 billion bushels and a soybean harvest of 3.6-3.7 billion bushels. In August, USDA estimated the corn crop at 13.875 billion bushels and soybeans at 3.845 billion bushels, down considerably from 2018’s 14.42 billion bushels of corn and 4.544 billion bushels of soybeans, due to planting delays from the rainiest spring in a quarter-century.
– Organic Trade Association holds All Things Organic conference, through Friday, Baltimore.