Thanksgiving dinner will cost more. But how much?
Americans can cook the classic Thanksgiving meal featuring roast turkey and pumpkin pie for $5.33 a person, according to an informal survey of supermarket prices. But while all sides agree that ingredients for the meal will cost more this year, there is a wide range of viewpoints on how large the increase will be.
Biden administration ditches Trump water rule
The Biden administration said on Thursday it would re-establish the “waters of the United States” rule that was in place before 2015, a step that would repeal a narrow regulation written during the Trump era. The National Wildlife Federation said that “many streams and wetlands nationwide will regain undisputed protections.”
Contract livestock producers get $270 million in pandemic aid
Payments totaling $270 million are being made to so-called contract producers to offset revenue lost to the pandemic in 2020, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Previous aid programs were directed at the owners of livestock but not the farmers who produced hogs, poultry, and eggs under contract to them.
‘SNAP gap’ for meals narrows as benefits expand
The Biden administration boosted SNAP benefits by $36 per person per month in November in a move expected to help millions of Americans avoid hunger. “This increase helped close the gap between SNAP benefits and meal costs, but it did not close it for everyone,” says the Urban Institute.
U.S. hits REvil ransomware group linked to attack on JBS
The Justice Department is seeking extradition of a Ukrainian man on ransomware charges and has seized $6.1 million in alleged ransom payments from a Russian man, said Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday. Both men were part of the REvil cybercriminal gang linked to an attack on meatpacker JBS.
Today’s Quick Hits
USDA taps Greenfield: Theresa Greenfield, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate last year, was named USDA state director for rural development in Iowa, said the White House, which also announced five other state director appointments. (White House)
Trade deals on hold: Despite hopes among farm groups, “I don’t see any major free trade agreements being negotiated by the United States in the near future,” said economist Ian Sheldon of Ohio State University during an ag policy conference. (FERN’s Ag Insider)
Deere strike ends: By a 3-to-2 margin, UAW members, on strike for a month, ratified a new contract with Deere and Co. that includes a 10 percent pay raise this year and a 20 percent increase over the life of the contract. (UAW)
Stretching RFS deadline: The EPA has proposed giving small oil refineries more time to comply with reporting requirements on how much ethanol they blended into gasoline in 2020 and 2021 because it has yet to issue the Renewable Fuel Standard for those years. (Biomass Magazine)
Corn, wheat records: Global grain production is predicted to climb to an all-time high of 2.287 billion tonnes in 2021/22, including a corn record of 1.212 billion tonnes and a wheat record of 777 million tonnes. (International Grains Council)
Deere eyes options: The chief administrative officer of Deere and Co. said the company was considering whether it could blunt the impact of a strike by 10,000 unionized workers by importing farm equipment from overseas or using strikebreakers. (CNN Business)
States seek E15: Seven Midwestern governors asked the EPA for guidance on how they could authorize year-round sale of a 15 percent blend of ethanol into gasoline; a U.S. appellate court overturned a federal rule allowing year-round sales. (Farm Progress)
‘Cow tax’ scare talk: The “build back better” bill awaiting a House vote would not impose a fee on methane emissions from livestock, but there’s no prohibition so “I think we have a right to be concerned,” said Rep. Kat Cammack, a Florida Republican who voted to overturn President Biden’s election. (Cammack)
Rural Housing director: Joaquin Altoro, head of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, was appointed administrator of USDA’s Rural Housing Service. (USDA)
Neil Harl dies: Agricultural economist Neil Harl, a salient figure in efforts to resolve the farm debt crisis of the late 1980s, died at age 88; he was a faculty member of Iowa State University for half a century.