Urban-rural poverty gap has widened since the Great Recession
For decades, the poverty rate has been higher in rural America than in metropolitan areas, a situation often attributed to an older, lower-paid, and less-educated rural population. A new USDA report says the gap between rural and urban areas widened, to 3.5 percentage points, during the economic recovery that began a decade ago.
Last-ditch fight against CRISPR deregulation in Australia
A government decision to deregulate gene-editing tools such as CRISPR met a last-stop challenge in the Australian Senate, with an organic farmers’ group expressing concerns that it will be “sacrificed for the sake of unregulated GMO tech.”
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
China balks at ag commitments (Wall Street Journal): China is wary of putting into writing an agreement touted by President Trump under which it would buy up to $50 billion worth of U.S. farm exports over two years. It is one of several issues delaying the so-called “phase one” trade package between the nations.
World Food Prize names new leader (WFP): Barbara Stinson, co-founder of the nonprofit Meridian Institute, will succeed Kenneth Quinn on Jan. 4 as president of the World Food Prize Foundation, sponsor of the annual $250,000 award for work that improves food quality and availability.
Stopping weeds without herbicides (DTN/Progressive Farmer): Soybean growers are looking beyond chemicals for ways to stop invasive, herbicide-resistant weeds, including hand-weeding or planting cover crops that keep weeds from taking root.
College offers class in rural wildfires (Redding Record Searchlight): A community college in Northern California is offering a five-and-a-half-hour course for rural homeowners on how to prepare for wildfires.
Swept out to sea, cows find a new home (Charlotte Observer): Three cows, part of a herd of wild “sea cows” that lived along the North Carolina coast, apparently swam four or five miles across Core Sound during Hurricane Dorian and are now grazing at the Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Outer Banks.