SNAP enrollment up, costs down in 2023
Food stamp enrollment will remain high well into 2023 due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and its disruption of the U.S. economy, said the Agriculture Department in its proposed budget for the new fiscal year. It estimated an average 43.5 million people would receive food stamps during fiscal 2023, a 3 percent increase from this year.
Senate bill requires packers to buy some cattle for cash
Meatpackers would be required to buy a portion of their slaughter cattle on the spot market or risk a $90,000 fine under legislation outlined by four senators on Monday. The bill, intended to increase market transparency, also would create a contract library that discloses the terms the packers offer for cattle, so producers would know if a fair price is being offered.
Ag’s ammonia emissions rose 78 percent over last 40 years
Agricultural intensification and a lack of regulations drove a 78-percent increase in the farm sector’s ammonia emissions between 1980 and 2018, according to a paper published by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.
Foes of California’s Prop 12 get their day in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a farm-group challenge that says California’s animal welfare rules pose an unconstitutional burden on farmers and consumers throughout the nation. Approved by voters in a landslide in 2018, Proposition 12 requires California farmers to give more room to sows and egg-laying hens, and bars the sale of meat produced on farms outside the state that do not match California’s standards.
Broilers, pullets and turkeys hit as HPAI toll jumps to 15.5 million birds
The Agriculture Department reported on Monday 18 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that claimed 1.2 million turkeys, broiler chickens and pullets. More than 15.5 million birds in domestic flocks have died of HPAI or been culled in efforts to prevent the spread of the contagious viral disease in less than two months.
Today’s Quick Hits
Moffitt, Crosby to testify: Agriculture Undersecretary Jennifer Moffitt and Terry Crosby, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, are scheduled as lead witnesses at a House hearing on horticulture and urban agriculture today. (House Agriculture)
HPAI in dead bald eagle: The Pennsylvania Game Commission said highly pathogenic avian influenza was found in a dead bald eagle in Chester County, just east of Philadelphia, the first detection of HPAI among birds in the state this year. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Black farmers can intervene: A federal appeals court ruled the Federation of Southern Cooperatives can join a lawsuit in Texas that alleges a USDA loan forgiveness program, intended as a remedy for racial discrimination, should have included both white and Black farmers. (Politico)
Northey helms trade group: Bill Northey, who became a senior USDA official after being elected three times as Iowa agriculture secretary, was named chief executive of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, representing feed, seed, fertilizer, ag chemical, grain and equipment companies. (Agribusiness Association)