Senate ping-pongs school nutrition bill back to House for final approval
The House and Senate passed different versions of a slimmed-down $3 billion extension of school nutrition waivers within hours of each other on Thursday, leaving to the House a final vote on the legislation on Friday. “I look forward to the president signing this into law,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow.
Cut beef, boost whole grains to make school lunches more sustainable
Reducing the amount of meat served in school lunches and increasing servings of whole grains could help reduce the National School Lunch Program’s environmental impact while expanding the market for foods produced in more ecologically friendly ways, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Communications Earth and Environment.
House committee votes to ban sale of U.S. farmland to Russia and China
Companies from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran would be barred from purchasing U.S. agricultural land under language approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
U.S. creates pollinator conservation center
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish a Pollinator Conservation Center focusing on the decline of pollinating species, including the monarch butterfly, announced Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Thursday.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
GMO wheat in Australia: Bioceres, the developer of GMO wheat, will seek approval to plant its HB4 wheat in Australia in 2024 and has applied for permission to grow the drought- and herbicide-tolerant crop in the United States. (Reuters)
Overtime for farm workers: Farmworkers across the country would qualify for overtime pay under a Senate bill introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla of California, one of the minority of states that currently mandates overtime pay on the farm. (Padilla)
Flores joins House Ag: Republican Rep. Mayra Flores, winner of a special House election in southern Texas, was appointed to the House Agriculture Committee. (House Agriculture Republicans)
Indicators of smoke taint: Researchers have identified a class of sulfur-containing compounds, called thiophenols, that can cause smoke taint in wine. The discovery could help vintners mitigate damage to wine grapes from wildfire smoke. (Oregon State University)
Supersized bacteria: Most bacteria are microscopic, but researchers have found a bacterium in a Caribbean mangrove swamp that’s big enough — the size of an eyelash — to be seen with the naked eye. (Associated Press)