Pandemic brought 17-percent drop in school meals – October 18, 2021

Pandemic brought 17-percent drop in school meals

Federal waivers that allowed schools to hand out “grab and go” meals to students, and that made meals free to all students, were powerful tools in blunting the impact of the pandemic on food insecurity among children, said USDA economists. Although the number of school meals declined 17 percent in fiscal 2020, because of the waivers 1.7 billion meals were served from March-May 2020 “that may have otherwise not been distributed,” they said in a Covid-19 working paper.

New research shows hunting’s effect on sage grouse population is mixed

The sage grouse population fell so low during the 1990s that the chicken-sized species was considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, two researchers say that restrictions on hunting the sage grouse have a mixed record when it comes to the bird’s numbers.

Today’s Quick Hits

Glyphosate ruling: The Supreme Court of Mexico denied four appeals of the decision to ban the weedkiller glyphosate and the sowing of corn varieties genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide, according to the press reports. (AgriCensus)

Deere CEO sells stock: John May, chief executive of Deere and Co., sold 1,400 shares of Deere stock for $72,473 in the days before the UAW went on strike against the world’s largest farm equipment maker. (KCRG-TV)

Covid-19 in coatimundi: A USDA disease laboratory confirmed the first-known Covid-19 infection of a coatimundi, just days after reporting the first-ever coronavirus infections of a binturong and a fishing cat. All three animals were housed in a zoo in Illinois. (APHIS),

Leaving land fallow: There are a growing number of programs along the Colorado River that pay farmers to temporarily idle cropland in an effort to ease water shortages. (Los Angeles Times)

Local food delay: Release of the Local Food Marketing Practices report, originally expected next month, will be delayed until early 2022 because the pandemic disrupted information gathering. (USDA)

On The Calendar

Shakuntala Thilsted, winner of the 2021 World Food Prize, speaks on “Aquatic foods for nourishing nations,” 9 p.m. ET, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
USDA mails its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey to 20,500 producers. Results will establish a benchmark for the industry, said the USDA. The survey will ask producers about planted and harvested area, yield per acre, production and value of industrial hemp.
By presidential proclamation, this is National Forest Products Week, through Saturday.
USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

The National Organic Standards Board holds a fall meeting, through Thursday, Sacramento, California.

The World Food Prize Foundation holds the annual Borlaug Dialogue, through Friday, in Des Moines. Land O’Lakes chief executive Beth Ford discusses “Rural renaissance key to revitalize global economies” at the opening session, 10:15 a.m. ET.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hosts Victor Manuel Villalobos Arambula, Mexico’s secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, for bilateral meetings.
House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing online, “Colorado River drought conditions and response measures, Day Two,” 11 a.m. ET.
National Agricultural Law Center holds webinar, “Foreign ownership of ag land: Legal background and update,” noon ET.

During the second day of World Food Prize symposium, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Victor Manuel Villalobos Arambula of Mexico and Deputy Agriculture Minister Chris Forbes of Canada discuss climate change, innovation and other agricultural issues in North America, 1 p.m. ET, Des Moines.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on bills with an emphasis on National Forest land in the West, including S 1734 that would encourage use of prescribed burns on public land, 10 a.m. ET, 366 Dirksen.
House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing, “Preparing for COP26: U.S. strategy to combat climate change through international development,” 10 a.m. ET.

Beth Bechdol, FAO deputy director-general, discusses the UN food summit and “governance systems needed to guide transformation and move towards system change and implementation,” 12:30 p.m. ET, World Food Prize symposium, Des Moines.
USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage reports, 3 p.m. ET.

Bookmark the permalink.