Trump’s trade and coronavirus aid to agriculture could hit $50 billion – September 21, 2020

Trump’s trade and coronavirus aid to agriculture could hit $50 billion

With its new offer of $14 billion in coronavirus relief, the Trump administration could spend $50 billion — quadruple the cost of the auto industry bailout — in less than three years to buffer the impact of trade war and pandemic on agriculture. Farm groups welcomed the second round of coronavirus assistance while critics said it was “old-fashioned vote-buying” ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.


To save humanity, save biodiversity: Q&A with Eric Sala

Dr. Eric Sala, founder of the ocean conservation initiative Pristine Seas, constructs an enlightened defense for biological diversity in his first book, The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild, in which he describes Covid-19 as “the most powerful wake-up call to the world about the enormous risks to human health posed by our broken relationship with nature.”


After three years at USDA, Censky to return to soy group

One week after the Nov. 3 general election, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky will start work for his former employer, the American Soybean Association (ASA) as its chief executive officer. Censky held that post for 21 years before joining the Trump administration in 2017.


EPA says it will continue use of three weedkillers

The EPA added precautions to the use and handling for the weedkillers atrazine, simazine and propazine in deciding the herbicides can remain in use in the United States. Atrazine is used primarily in agriculture to kill weeds in corn, sorghum and sugarcane, but it also is used on golf courses and residential lawns.



Greenfield leads Ernst in Iowa Poll: Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield leads first-term Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, 45-42, among likely voters, with a margin of error of 3.8 points. (Des Moines Register)


Governor violates apple quarantine: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee apologized for unintentionally breaking state rules by bringing apples from the governor’s mansion as a gift to people hit by wildfires; the apples contained a pest that is a potential threat to the state’s apple industry. (New York Times)


More stress on on-land aquaculture: In a critique of a White House order on fisheries, the Aquaponics Association said deregulation of offshore fishing “will result in reduced supply and undermine the longevity of a successful aquaculture industry.” (Aquaponics Association)




This is National Farm Safety and Health Week, held annually as a reminder to practice safety during the harvest season.

Agri-Pulse holds online Ag and Food Policy Summit, 8 a.m. ET. Speakers include Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican, attend a forum with farmers at Beaty Farms, in Rochester, Illinois, 10:20 a.m. CT, after visiting the Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois, in Springfield. At 3 p.m. CT, Perdue will attend the opening of the new headquarters of Benson Hill, a plant science company, in St. Louis.

Biotechnology Innovation Organization holds 2020 Bio Impact ag and environmental conference online, through Tuesday.

United Fresh holds Washington Conference online, through Friday.

USDA issues weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.


First day of fall in the northern hemisphere. “In many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the landscape silently explodes with vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange,” says the Old Farmer’s Almanac. “Plants and trees are slowing down, as sunlight decreases, to get ready for the colder season ahead.”

Congressional Joint Economic Committee holds online hearing, “The economic impact of America’s failure to contain the coronavirus,” 2:30 p.m. ET.

House is expected to open debate on HR 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which includes provisions requiring EPA to report on requests for exemptions from the RFS and explain its reasons for granting or denying them.

Oregon Covid-19 Farmworker Study Team releases results of “the only statewide survey to gather data directly from farmworkers currently working through Covid,” 2 p.m. ET.

USDA releases monthly Cold Storage report, 3 p.m. ET.


Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, “Modernizing the Endangered Species Act,” focusing on potential amendments to the law, 10 a.m. ET, 106 Dirksen.

CBO director Phillip Swagel is lead witness at Senate Budget Committee hearing, “CBO’s updated budget outlook,” 2:30 p.m. 608 Dirksen.

House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, “Immigrants as essential workers during Covid-19, 2 p.m. ET, 2141 Rayburn.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell are lead witnesses at Senate Banking Committee hearing, “The quarterly CARES Act report to Congress,” 10 a.m. ET, 106 Dirksen.

Radically Rural holds annual summit online, to present “ideas of importance to small cities and towns.”

International Grains Council releases monthly Grain Market Report, London.

Ducks Unlimited holds national convention online, through Friday.

USDA releases quarterly Hogs and Pigs and annual Turkeys Raised reports, 3 p.m. ET.


House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing, “Restaurants in America during the Covid-19 pandemic, 9 a.m. ET.

USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook, noon ET. At present, USDA forecasts grocery prices will rise 2 percent this year, on par with the 20-year average, and by a lower-than-usual 1.5 percent in 2021.

USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report, 3 p.m. ET.

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