Oregon adopts heat safety rule to protect farm labor and other workers
In the wake of a heat wave blamed for the death of a farmworker, Oregon adopted an emergency rule on Thursday that guarantees workers rest breaks in the shade and plenty of cool water to drink during hot weather. Farmworker advocates called for the passage of federal protections against heat stress on the job.
First decline in global food prices in a year
Sharply lower prices for vegetable oils, down nearly 10 percent in a month, contributed to the first decline in the Food Price Index since last May, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Thursday. The index fell by 2.5 percent in June, although it was still about one-third higher than a year ago.
Today’s Quick Hits
California drought emergency: Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded the state’s drought emergency declaration to almost all of California and asked residents to reduce water consumption by 15 percent. Among other things, the move makes it easier to cut off irrigation water to farmers. (Sacramento Bee)
‘Smoke comes every year’: When sugar companies in Florida burn their cane fields before harvest, particulate levels in the air in communities downwind can be four times higher than the average pollution levels in the area, posing health risks despite repeated assessments that the air is safe to breathe. (ProPublica and Palm Beach Post)
Herrick rejoins dairy group: After a stint as head of the USDA’s press office, Matt Herrick is back at the International Dairy Foods Association, where he will be senior vice president for communications and will launch the IDFA Foundation. (IDFA)
Subsidized overfishing: China, Japan, and the EU top the list of governments whose subsidies prop up fishing industries that would not be viable otherwise and that contribute to overfishing. (Mongabay)
CHS earnings nearly tripled: The largest U.S. agribusiness cooperative reported net income of nearly $274 million in the quarter ending on May 31, nearly three times the total for the same three-month period in 2020. (CHS)
Vilsack in Iowa: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne are to visit a farm and hold a news conference at a butcher’s shop in Council Bluffs on Friday. (FERN’s Ag Insider)