SNAP and P-EBT surged to 12 percent of grocery spending during pandemic
Two months into the pandemic, roughly $1 in $8 spent on groceries in the United States came from the federal food assistance programs, SNAP and the newly created Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), compared to $1 of every $14 beforehand, said the USDA on Tuesday.
Even with economic downturn, tropical forest losses mount
During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, as economic activity ground to a virtual standstill, Mother Nature flirted with recovery. With so many factories closed and far fewer vehicles on the road, greenhouse gas emissions plummeted. Air and water quality temporarily improved. Overall, the global economy shrank by roughly 4 percent in 2020, and yet one disturbing trend continued apace: forest destruction worldwide, largely as a result of agriculture.
Today’s Quick Hits
Biden wants broadband: Besides roads, bridges and rail, President Biden “believes there’s more we can do on broadband and ensuring that the far-too-large percentage of Americans who don’t have acess (will) have access and we invest in that,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki in previewing the president’s proposal on infrastructure. (Ag Insider)
Big food slow on net-zero: Most of the 35 largest meat and dairy companies in the world have not made an explicit commitment to achieving net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, says a study in the journal Climatic Change. (New York University)
NWS system failure: The National Weather Service suffered a nationwide internet breakdown on Tuesday, making its forecasts and warnings unavailable to the public for hours, highlighting “systemic, long-standing issues with its information technology infrastructure.” (Washington Post)
JBS to pay $20 million: Pending federal court approval, meatpacker JBS USA agreed to pay $20 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging that it has conspired to fix consumer pork prices since 2009. (Sosland)
Planter parts frenzy: Growers are mobbing suppliers for replacement parts and upgrades for their planters at much higher rates than usual, spurred by the highest commodity prices in years. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)