Supreme Court rejects challenge of California animal welfare referendum
The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear a meat industry challenge to California’s voter-approved Proposition 12, which requires farmers to give sows, veal calves, and egg-laying chickens more room to move about and bans shipments of pork, veal, and eggs produced outside of California if the animals are housed in conditions that do not meet California’s standards.
Moore will be first Black chief of the Forest Service
Randy Moore, a career USDA employee who now oversees 20 million acres of national forests in California, will be the first Black chief of the U.S. Forest Service in its 116-year history, announced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday.
Groups urge EPA to spell out RFS waiver rules
Farm and ethanol groups said they were confident the EPA will approve few exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard, but they urged the agency on Monday to state how it will run the program in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on waivers.
Amazon agroforestry co-op shows how to farm sustainably in the rainforest
In remote northwestern Brazil, a group of farmers has set up a co-op that plants native fruit trees on exhausted former ranchland. In the process, the farmers are not only reforesting the area in a way that mimics the natural habitat, they’re earning about five times more per acre from their agroforestry plots annually than local ranchers are earning by clearing the forest to graze their cattle.
Today’s Quick Hits
New Iowa meat plant: A group of cattle producers calling itself Cattlemen’s Heritage announced plans to open a $325 million packing plant in western Iowa to slaughter 1,500 head a day and inject new competition into beef processing. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
Free school meals: California legislative leaders reached a budget agreement that includes free breakfast and lunch for all public school students. (EdSource)
Brazilian corn suffers: Persistently dry weather in major growing regions of Brazil will reduce corn production in 2020/21 to 94 million tonnes, 11 million tonnes less than seemed likely in April. (USDA)
Aid at eight-week high: The USDA paid $56 million in pandemic aid to farmers and ranchers in the past week, the largest total since the week ending May 2. (USDA)
Broadband funding pact: The FCC, USDA, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration agreed to coordinate distribution of federal broadband deployment funds “to ensure we make the most effective use of these new funds.” (FCC)