Pork plants recovered quickly from Covid-19, regardless of size
Outbreaks of Covid-19 at meatpacking plants slashed U.S. hog slaughter rates by 36 percent in late April 2020, but a USDA report found that “regions with large pork processing plants recovered in a couple of months” – similar to regions with smaller plants.
USDA creates $400 million local food program
To build resilience into the food system, the Agriculture Department said on Monday it would award up to $500 million to state and tribal governments for purchases of locally grown food for emergency food assistance.
Today’s Quick Hits
Double-digit increases: Farmland values are up by as much as 20 percent since last year, said professor Bruce Sherrick of the University of Illinois. The increase was remarkable considering the trade and economic disruptions of the past 2-1/2 years. (Farmdoc Daily)
Expand ‘phase one’: The former U.S. ambassador to China, Republican Terry Branstad, said President Biden ought to expand and enforce the “phase one” agreement negotiated by the Trump administration to de-escalate the trade war started by the former president. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
Forestry funds hurdle: The “build back better” bill would spend $27 billion for the nation’s forests, with an emphasis on fire prevention, but West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin could be an obstacle. (Los Angeles Times)
Year-end bonuses: Meat packer Tyson Foods, which reported a $1 billion increase in earnings in 2021, said it would give year-end bonuses of $300-$700 to each of its frontline and hourly workers, a total of $50 million, “for their efforts over the past year.” (Tyson Foods)
Yellowstone bison control: Up to one-sixth of the bison in Yellowstone National Park will be shot by hunters, sent to slaughter or quarantined this winter in an effort to prevent them from wandering outside the park and infecting cattle with brucellosis. (CBS News)