Few ERS and NIFA replacements as relocation reaches milestone date
When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Kansas City as the new home for two USDA research agencies, officials laid out an aggressive schedule to have everyone in place by today, the final day of fiscal 2019. The USDA has hired only a comparative handful of workers to stanch staff turnover that could exceed 75 percent.
Report: Rural America is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to policy
A comparatively small portion of the U.S. population, roughly 60 million of the nearly 330 million residents, lives in rural America. But that portion is spread across 97 percent of the nation’s land. A new report from the American Communities Project at George Washington University says the immense diversity of rural America defeats the usual approach of a “one size fits all” policy for rural economic growth.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Interior changes its mind about Shasta Dam (New York Times): Preliminary work has begun to raise the height of Shasta Dam in Northern California. It marks a change of direction at the Interior Department that coincides with the tenure of Secretary David Bernhardt, who was chief lobbyist for years for the heavily agricultural water district that would benefit from the higher dam.
Landscape corridors work (Washington Post): A long-running experiment in South Carolina shows that landscape corridors of undeveloped or restored land that connect wildlife habitat result in a wider range of plants and fewer extinctions than in isolated pockets of land.
Trump signs bill with trade-war payments (White House): The president signed into law a stopgap funding bill that will keep the government open until Nov. 21 and replenishes funding for the USDA agency that pays billions of dollars to farmers to mitigate the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.
Separate track for USMCA (KTIC): Congressional action on the “new NAFTA” will run on a separate track than the impeachment inquiry announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Rep. Henry Cueller, Texas Democrat and an advocate for adoption of the free trade pact.
Orchards go RAD and it’s bad (Allegheny Front): Variously called Rapid Apple Decline or Sudden Apple Decline, a mysterious malady is killing young apple trees from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– USDA releases annual Small Grains Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks reports, noon ET. Traders expect USDA to lower its estimates of corn and soybean stockpiles at the Sept. 1 start of this marketing year, according to surveys by Reuters and Bloomberg. Even so, the soybean inventory would be more than double its size a year ago.
– Council for Agricultural Science and Technology releases issue paper, “Protecting food animal gene pools for future generations,” and holds three briefings in Washington, beginning at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, “a nationwide measure of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy.
– International Dairy Foods Association holds executive council and industry segments board meetings, through Thursday, Indianapolis.
– UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.
-New York Times food festival, through Sunday, Bryant Park, New York City.