Ethanol producers to electric car makers: We’re greener than you are
With automakers shifting toward the production of electric cars and trucks, the ethanol industry said on Wednesday that biofuels will be an important tool against global warming, and arguably create less pollution than battery-powered vehicles. The comparison was based on life-cycle costs for the power sources, starting at power stations for electricity and corn fields for ethanol.
Nearly 400,000 Californians lack safe drinking water, often due to ag pollution
Drinking water for more than 370,000 Californians is contaminated with arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals, according to an extensive analysis by researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA. In many cases, the state’s agricultural industry is to blame.
After months of climbing, food inflation reaches 6.3 percent
Meat prices fell in the final weeks of 2021, but food inflation climbed again, to an annual rate of 6.3 percent, said the Labor Department on Wednesday. The overall U.S. inflation rate of 7 percent for the past 12 months was the highest since June 1982.
Today’s Quick Hits
USDA nominees advance: The Senate Agriculture Committee advanced the nominations of Chavonda Jacobs-Young for USDA undersecretary for research and Margo Schlanger for USDA assistant secretary for civil rights for a floor vote. (Senate Ag)
New EPA pesticide policy: In a reversal of decades of practice, the EPA said it would evaluate the effects of new pesticides on endangered species and their habitats before deciding whether to approve the chemicals for use. (EPA)
Fertilizer costs surge: Farmers could spend as much as an additional $128,000 for fertilizer this year because of sharply higher prices, said the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, a think tank at Texas A&M. (AFPC)
Bigger food banks: The pandemic has forced food banks to expand into larger quarters, with the most prominent being the new 345,000-square-foot home of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, billed as the world’s largest food bank facility. (Food Bank News)
Ag subsidies explained: On Thursday at 11 a.m. ET, the public radio program 1A will discuss “how agriculture subsidies shape the food we eat.” Participants will include Anne Schechinger of the Environmental Working Group, John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association, and Drew Swanson of Wright State University. (1A)