CAP report highlights inequities for black farmers
Since the end of Reconstruction, following the Civil War, many black farmers have felt the twin pressures of hardship and neglect, reinforced by systematic discrimination from government agencies and financial institutions. The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy institute, issued a recent report advocating for policy changes to correct those inequities, many of which it says remain today.
The high cost of the government’s failure to invest in agriculture R&D
U.S. farmers and ranchers face a host of problems that could be solved or greatly curtailed by scientific innovation. But the federal government has largely abandoned its role as a leading funder of agricultural research and development, writes Alan Leshner, CEO emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in The Hill.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Maine is first state to ban Styrofoam food containers (USA Today): In signing the bill, which takes effect in 2021, the governor cited the fact that polystyrene breaks down into microplastics that pollute oceans and eventually turn up in the food supply.
Beyond Meat customers aren’t beyond meat (Business Insider): Beyond Meat, the maker of plant-based meat substitutes, says that a sample of its customers shows that 93 percent still buy animal meat — meaning that vegan meat is an add-on, not a substitute. The company’s stock soared 163 percent after it went public, Bloomberg reports.
Hell-bent for hemp in Illinois (State Journal-Register): The state Department of Agriculture received nearly 370 applications to grow and process industrial hemp in the first two days applications were accepted.
With Cinco de Mayo looming, avocado prices surge (Bloomberg): Wholesale prices for Hass avocados from Michoacan, the heartland of Mexican production, have reached their highest level since August 2017.
Farm labor workforce is aging (USDA): The average age of farmworkers is rising because of the declining flow of new immigrants, who tend to be younger. The average age of foreign-born farm laborers was 42 in 2017, up from 36 in 2006.