Ag leaders urge Covid-19 vaccinations in rural America – September 2, 2021

Ag leaders urge Covid-19 vaccinations in rural America

While nearly half of urban Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the rural rate is much lower — less than four in 10. “We still have so far to go,” said the leaders of 30 farm and agribusiness groups on Wednesday in an open letter to their members that encouraged vaccinations to head off the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Leaders of all House committees call for hunger conference

In a letter to President Biden, the leaders of every House committee said on Wednesday that the pandemic had revealed the extent of hunger in America. “We call on you to convene a national conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health … to design a roadmap to end hunger in America by 2030,” they wrote.

Can rock dust be a climate solution for agriculture?

Agriculture generates nearly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which has spurred scientists to seek ways of reducing farming’s contributions to climate change. Now researchers have found that dusting crop fields with pulverized rock such as basalt can supercharge the natural chemical process that sequesters carbon in the soil, according to Yale Environment 360.

Today’s Quick Hits

Disaster designations: The USDA has declared 95 counties, mostly in drought-hit parts of the western Corn Belt and the central and northern Plains, as disaster areas, making farmers and ranchers eligible for USDA emergency loans. (Farm Service Agency)

KCS delays decision: Kansas City Southern, the key component in proposals to create the first railroad running from Canada to Mexico, delayed a vote on a $29 billion takeover bid by Canadian National Railway. (Reuters)

Earlier acreage update: The USDA may adjust acreage data for U.S. corn and soybean crops as part of the monthly crop report on Sept. 10, a month earlier than usual, because information about planted and harvested areas is “sufficiently complete this year.” (National Agricultural Statistics Service)

Increased protections: Under revisions to so-called whole farm crop insurance, organic farmers can expand their coverage levels more rapidly and the coverage limit for aquaculture has been quadrupled. (Risk Management Agency)

Water law struck down: Following a federal court decision striking down a Trump-era interpretation of clean water law, the regulation of U.S. waters is again governed by a 1986 rule that environmentalists, farmers, and developers say is poorly written and contradictory. (New York Times)

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