Key senator defends decisions on nutrition spending
Congress increased funding significantly for public nutrition programs in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, said the chairman of the Senate subcommittee in charge of USDA spending on Monday. Congress has come under criticism for unfairly funding food programs in favor of farmers.
Iowa leaders ask federal indemnities for hog culling
Farmers across the nation may be forced to kill 700,000 hogs a week because of coronavirus closures and slowdowns at slaughter plants, said four Iowa political leaders in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Monday.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Fewer hours for farmworkers (High Country News): Farm laborers in the Coachella Valley of Southern California are working shorter days than usual, as demand from shuttered restaurants and schools has collapsed.
Netherlands’ mink farms quarantined (Barron’s): Two mink farms in the southern Netherlands were put in quarantine after tests showed the animals were infected with the coronavirus, mostly likely from contact with workers on the farm, said the Dutch agriculture ministry.
Fresh eggs, socially distant (Sonoma Magazine): Sonoma County is best known as wine country but the refrigerated vending machine at a local poultry farm, dispensing a dozen eggs at a time, “has become a popular place to get fresh eggs while maintaining social distancing.”
Many questions on cell-based meat (CAST): There may be more questions than clear answers about cell-based meats, ranging from consumer acceptance to how the products will be labeled and the technology refined, says a task force organized by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.
One-fifth of corn planted in a week (USDA): U.S. farmers planted 20 percent of this year’s corn crop – more than 19 million of the forecast 97 million acres – last week, with 27 percent of the crop now in the ground, compared with the usual 20 percent for the final week of April, said the weekly Crop Progress report.
CAFO story wins writing award (NAAJ): Baart Pfankuch, of nonprofit South Dakota News Watch, won the ag journalist of the year award from North American Agricultural Journalists for his story on the transformation of farming and rural communities by the increasing number of large-scale feedlots, known as CAFOs, in South Dakota. The story is available here.