School meal programs have lost more than $483 million so far during the pandemic
School meal programs have taken a massive financial hit during the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey from the School Nutrition Association. The survey, which includes responses from school nutrition directors in 1,614 school districts across the country, points to the crippling costs of adapting to pandemic-related constraints, and significant losses due to a drop in participation in the school-lunch program.
U.S. appeals court rejects injunction against California’s ‘cage-free’ Prop 12
In a ruling hailed as a victory for farm animals, the U.S. appellate court in San Francisco denied a meat industry request for an injunction against California’s voter-approved Proposition 12, which guarantees more space for hogs, calves, and chickens to move about. The meat industry contends that Prop 12 and similar state laws violate the so-called commerce clause of the Constitution, though they have failed repeatedly to persuade the courts.
It’s early, but China is No. 1 buyer of U.S. corn
Thanks to a buying spree, China is far and away the top customer for U.S. corn six weeks into the marketing year, said chief executive Ryan LeGrand of the U.S. Grains Council on Thursday. Its purchases of 10.4 million tonnes for delivery during 2020/21 are twice as large as sales to date to Mexico, usually the No. 1 importer.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Farm Bureau to meet online: The largest U.S. farm group, the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it will hold its annual convention online because its planned venue, the San Diego Convention Center, is not available due to the pandemic. (AFBF)
House race tightens in reliably red Nebraska: House Ag panelist Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican, is in a toss-up race for re-election in a rematch against Democrat Kara Eastman in the Omaha area. Previously the race was rated as “leans Republican.” (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)
‘Tortilla corn’ in jeopardy: Mexican corn millers say domestic production of white corn, used to make tortillas and tamales, is imperiled by cuts in government subsidies and could lead to a reliance on imports of a product at the heart of Mexico’s national identity. (Reuters)
USDA pays Conservation Reserve rent: With the start of the new fiscal year, landowners will receive $1.68 billion in annual payments for idling environmentally fragile land in the Conservation Reserve. Currently, 21.9 million acres are enrolled in the program. (USDA)
More than 65,000 with coronavirus: As of Thursday, according to data compiled by FERN, at least 269 workers at meatpacking plants, food processing facilities, or farms had died of Covid-19 and more than 65,000 had been infected by the virus. (FERN)