Largest annual increase in grocery prices since 2011
Grocery prices will rise by a higher-than-average 3 percent this year, due largely to the coronavirus-propelled surge in the cost of meat, poultry, and fish at the supermarket, forecast the USDA on Thursday. It would be the largest annual increase since 2011.
Hog backlog on U.S. farms could hit 2 million head
As many as 2 million hogs are backed up on U.S. farms because of coronavirus slowdowns and shutdowns at meatpacking plants, said three economists on Thursday, with the backlog likely to persist into the fall. The oversupply will weigh on market prices unless there is a strong recovery as the economy reopens, they said.
World soybean production to rise by 8 percent, says grains council
With a rebound in U.S. production, the world soybean crop will be a record 364 million tonnes in 2020/21, up 8 percent from this season, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. Record-setting corn and wheat crops were also forecast for 2020/21.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Child nutrition waivers extended (USDA): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the extension through June 2021 of an array of waivers that will allow schools to serve grab-and-go meals and meals in the classroom. Schools will also have more control over the foods included in the meals.
Covid-19 kills 93 meat workers (Reuters): The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said that 93 meatpacking and food processing workers have died of Covid-19 and that many of its members continue to face the risk of infection.
U.S. weighs tariffs on European goods (Business Insider): The Trump administration is considering tariffs on $3.1 billion worth of European imports, including cheese, frozen hams, yogurt, olives, beer, and gin, as part of a “carousel of retaliation” over subsidies for the aviation industry.
Virginia moves on workplace safety (Washington Post): Virginia’s state health and safety board voted, 9-3, to create workplace safety rules that would require employers to protect workers from infection by the coronavirus.
U.S. population diversity grows (Carsey): Although U.S. population growth in 2019 was the slowest in a century, the country is becoming more racially diverse. Still, that diversity is geographically uneven, with much of New England, the Midwest, and the northern Plains being far more homogeneous than the rest of the nation, says a demographer.