With eye to revival, USDA to revisit animal welfare rule for organic farms – June 18, 2021

With eye to revival, USDA to revisit animal welfare rule for organic farms

Eleven months after President Trump took office, the USDA said it lacked the authority to implement livestock welfare rules for organic farmers, despite having spent years working on them. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the USDA will reconsider that 2017 interpretation, a step that could lead to a revival of the regulation to give chickens, pigs, and cattle on organic farms more elbow room than they commonly get on factory farms.

Report: Pandemic waivers helped boost WIC enrollment

Pandemic-era tweaks to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children helped boost participation in the program, commonly known as WIC, after years of declining enrollment, according to a report released yesterday by the Food Research & Action Center.

Drought expands in upper Midwest

Warm and dry weather brought “widespread worsening of drought and dryness” to the upper Midwest in the past week, particularly in Iowa and Wisconsin, said the Drought Monitor.

Today’s Quick Hits

More meat plants: At least five mostly small, independently owned meat processing plants have opened or are planned across the country amid concerns about inadequate slaughter capacity. (Reuters)
Farmworker overtime pay: Legislatures in Colorado and Washington State passed bills this year to mandate overtime pay for agricultural workers, and Oregon and Maine are considering similar measures. (Stateline)

Marshes on the march: Under the right conditions, tidal marshes, a buffer against ocean storms and a trap for carbon, can rebuild themselves while migrating inland as sea levels rise, says coastal scientist Matt Kirwan. (Science)

EU glyphosate review: A draft assessment by four EU nations says glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weedkiller, “meets the approval criteria for human health” and for reapproval “as an active substance to be used in plant protection products.” (Farmers Weekly)

A Cage and a pig: “I’m looking for a truffle pig,” says Nicolas Cage, as the reclusive, mushroom-foraging protagonist in the upcoming “Pig,” a drama about a man searching for his stolen pig. (Hollywood Reporter)

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