Record corn and soybean crops possible as farmers chase high prices
Responding to strong exports and expectations of a U.S. economic recovery, farmers will plant 92 million acres of corn and 90 million acres of soybeans this spring, pointing to a record soybean crop and possibly the largest corn harvest ever, said the USDA on Thursday. Chief economist Seth Meyer also said farm exports would be a record $157 billion this year, including the largest-ever exports to China of $31.5 billion.
Immigration bill offers path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers
Democrats introduced companion bills in the House and Senate on Thursday for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration law. The bills, backed by President Biden, include an expedited three-year path to citizenship for some undocumented farmworkers.
China gobbles a larger share of world meat trade
The world’s most populous country is already its largest meat-importing nation and “looks like it’s poised to play a major role in meat markets in the future,” said USDA senior economist Fred Gale on Thursday. China’s imports of beef, pork, and poultry are projected by the USDA to grow 29 percent in the coming decade.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Tyson shareholders want reform: The SEC has released voting breakdowns for proposals considered last week at Tyson’s annual shareholder meeting. Although proposals to reform the company’s stock structure and issue a human rights report were overwhelmingly favored by independent investors (by 85 and 75 percent, respectively), both were defeated because the voting power is controlled by the Tyson family. (SEC, Ag Insider)
Coalition protests Oregon mega-dairy: Environmental groups are calling on Oregon regulators to deny a permit for a 30,000-cow mega-dairy in Boardman amid fraud allegations against the dairy’s owners. (Stand Up to Factory Farms)
Food runs short: The unusually severe winter storm that hit Texas with “freezing temperatures and power outages [that] are disrupting the food supply chain” has left the state’s grocery shelves empty. (Texas Tribune)
Food, packaging safe: “There is no credible evidence” that food or food packaging is a source of coronavirus infections, said the FDA and USDA. (FDA)
‘Sturgeon general’ arrested: The sturgeon specialist at the Wisconsin DNR was arrested and charged with being part of a group of game wardens who collected caviar from fishermen for “research purposes” but then consumed thousands of dollars’ worth of the highly regulated fish eggs. (Washington Post)