Third round of pandemic payments begins to flow to farmers and ranchers
The Biden administration has begun sending pandemic payments of more than $5.6 billion to cattle and crop producers, opening the third round of coronavirus relief to farmers and ranchers in 10 months, said a USDA spokesman on Monday.
Audubon enlists grass-fed meat brand to conserve critical bird habitat
The National Audubon Society today announced a partnership with Perdue-owned Panorama Organic Grass-fed Meats that will add nearly a million acres to its Conservation Ranching Initiative. Audubon has focused recent conservation efforts on privately owned rangelands, where 95 percent of grassland bird species live, and the deal with Panorama boosts the total acreage in its ranching program to 3.5 million.
Today’s Quick Hits
Snow doesn’t stick: Snow is increasingly melting from mountains in the U.S. West during winter, a trend that could imperil water supplies for cities and farms during the dry, warm months. (University of Colorado Boulder)
SNAP rises during pandemic: With USDA’s decision to expand eligibility for emergency allotments, the average SNAP benefit has increased by three-fourths since the start of the pandemic. (New York Times)
Cattle and trout: Iowa state regulators approved Supreme Beef’s proposal to establish a feedlot with 10,600 head of cattle in hilly northeastern Iowa; environmentalists said manure from the feedlot might pollute trout streams in the area. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Crackdown on palm oil: In a surprise, Sri Lanka banned imports of palm oil, barred plantings of new palm plantations and said existing plantations must be phased out. (Reuters)
Palmer amaranth test: Researchers at the University of Minnesota developed an easier-to-use genetic test to identify the invasive Palmer amaranth in seed shipments, which could reduce accidental spread of the weed. (University of Minnesota)