Farmland values constrained by falling income, pandemic
Farmland values across the Midwest and Plains are steady or lower than they were last June under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic and fears of declining farm income, said the largest U.S. farm management and real estate sales company.
Farmworkers win rate hike from Driscoll’s supplier after walkout, petition
Farmworkers at a supplier for Driscoll’s, the largest berry distributor in the world, won a raise earlier this month — as well as some Covid-19 safety measures — following a series of labor actions demanding better pay and working conditions.
Bee colony loss rate is second-highest ever
Beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies in the year ending on April 1, the second-highest rate since surveys began in 2006, said the Bee Informed Partnership on Monday.
Covid-19 shows no sign of slowing among food-system workers
While the nation starts to reopen unevenly during the pandemic, a new analysis of data collected since mid-April shows that the coronavirus is spreading steadily among meatpacking, food processing, and farmworkers. Many states are experiencing multiple outbreaks in food and farm sectors.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Iowa gets one-tenth of coronavirus cash (FERN’s Ag Insider): Crop and livestock producers in Iowa have collected $423.5 million of the $4 billion of coronavirus aid distributed by the USDA so far this year, with Wisconsin second at $286.3 million. The No. 1 corn and hog state, Iowa leads in payments to row-crop and livestock producers; Wisconsin is the leader for dairy payments.
Food workers exempt from visa restrictions (White House): President Trump “is extending and expanding” restrictions implemented in April on five types of temporary work visas but it will not affect farm or food workers, said the White House.
Outbreak in huge Mexican market (Washington Post): Dozens of people who work at Central de Abasto produce market, which covers 1.3 square miles in Mexico City and has about 90,000 workers, have died during the coronavirus pandemic, according to vendors.
Pick-your-own during the pandemic (Agweek): Pick-your-own fruit farms are open for business this summer with precautions against exposure to the coronavirus, such as the Minnesota state Health Department guidelines that call for additional hand-washing stations and no snacking while harvesting.
‘Extend WIC flexibilities’ (Senate Agriculture): Nineteen of the 21 members of the Senate Agriculture Committee signed a letter asking the USDA to extend through Sept. 30 regulatory waivers that make it easier for women to enroll in WIC during the pandemic.