Ag purchases are welcome, but significant Sino-U.S. issues remain, says Pence
President Trump aims to sign a “phase one” trade agreement with China that will result in vast sales of U.S. farm exports on the way to resolving “a whole range of structural and significant issues” between the nations, said Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday. China would spend $40 billion to $50 billion on ag products, according to the White House.
EPA proposal would shrink buffer zones around farm pesticides
In the name of making safety regulations easier to implement, the EPA proposed on Thursday to reduce the size of buffer zones intended to protect people from exposure to pesticides during their application on the farm. Environmental and farmworker groups said the proposal would increase the risk of pesticides being sprayed on or drifting onto workers, neighbors, and passersby.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Ernst may break with Wheeler (Des Moines Register): Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, running for re-election in Iowa, said she will be “ready to call for the resignation” of EPA chief Andrew Wheeler if his agency fails to assure an ethanol mandate of 15 billion gallons a year.
Welding accident shut down meat plant (HPPR): The fire that closed a huge Tyson Food meatpacking plant, producing 5 percent of the nation’s beef, was likely started by a “spark, ember, or flame” from a welding torch, says an investigation by the fire department in Garden City, Kansas.
Cow cabbage yields anti-cancer drug (STAT): Cow cabbage, also called cow lily, which grows in the highlands of the West, contains a substance, cyclopamine, that led to an outbreak of one-eyed lambs but may now be a tool to treat skin cancer.
SNAP benefits restored after power cutoff (USDA): SNAP recipients in 28 California counties will receive a replacement of 60 percent of their October benefits to make up for food that was lost when power companies shut off electricity this month to reduce the risk of wildfires.
Number of overweight children doubles (New Food Economy): The portion of the world’s children between the ages of 5 and 19 who are overweight has nearly doubled since 2000, says a UNICEF report, which projects that in 2025, at least 43 million children younger than 5 will be overweight.