Arguments over Prop 12 sizzle as implementation nears – August 30, 2021

Arguments over Prop 12 sizzle as implementation nears

After years of fighting California’s voters-approved Proposition 12 in court, meatpackers and the pork industry are asking for more time to comply with its animal welfare requirements. Estimates of the impact on consumers when Prop 12 takes effect on Jan. 1 vary widely, from increased pork costs of $10 per person annually to a warning by a hog-state senator that bacon could cost $17 a pound next year.

Drought imperils Afghanistan grain and livestock

At the same time the Taliban are taking control of Afghanistan, its farmers and herders, the backbone of the nation’s economy, are hit by an ever-worsening drought, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The wheat crop is 15 percent below average while livestock herders may have to sell their animals because of high feed costs.

Today’s Quick Hits

No free lunch: The school board in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha opted out of a USDA program allowing free meals for all students this year, with one board member saying families may “become spoiled.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Redirecting subsidies: Britain will support “public goods,” such as biodiversity, with its $3-billion-a-year farm program rather than the longstanding goal of food security, and then phase out the payments in seven years. (Washington Post)

Online groceries stick: Americans are shopping online for groceries more frequently and making fewer trips to the supermarket than before the pandemic, leading the marketing firm Acosta to conclude that e-commerce is here to stay. (Supermarket News)

Feral hog emissions: Worldwide, feral hogs release greenhouse gases equal to 1 million cars by rooting in the earth for food, says a study in the journal Global Change Biology. (Harvest Public Media)

Drier and wetter: The eastern half of the United States is getting more rainfall on average, and the western half is getting less, than during the 20th century, a pattern that could be the result of climate change or a long-term variation in weather. (New York Times)

On The Calendar

U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai, on a two-day visit to Chicago, tours Block Steel Corp. and meets members of the Chicago Federation of Labor. On Tuesday, Tai will tour Aurora Specialty Textiles.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Informa Markets holds Farm Progress Show, with demonstrations of farming implements and equipment, through Thursday, Decatur, Illinois.
USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices and annual Mushrooms reports, 3 p.m. ET.

USDA updates its estimate of farm income this year, 11 a.m. ET. In its most recent estimate, in February, the USDA forecast net farm income of $111.4 billion, 20-percent higher than the 10-year average due to higher livestock and grain prices and to large federal payments to agriculture. The USDA will hold a webinar at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the forecast.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases the monthly Food Price Index, measuring the monthly change in international prices for a basket of food commodities, Rome.
Farmdoc Daily hosts webinar, “Farmland and price outlook,” 1 p.m. ET.
Colorado Hemp Co. hosts Southern Hemp Expo, through Saturday, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Sept. 6
Labor Day, observed on the first Monday of September, which marks the end of summer for many Americans, was designated a federal holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 to honor the contribution of American workers. The labor movement inspired local and statewide observances in the late 19th century. Creation of the “workingmen’s holiday” can be viewed as an attempt by Congress to repair ties with unionized workers following riots in Chicago during the 1894 Pullman strike. “On July 7, national guardsmen, after having been assaulted, fired into a mob, killing between four and 30 people and wounding many others,” says
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown and ends on the evening of Sept. 8.
Ecocert Group hosts Organic World Congress, through Sept. 10, Rennes, France.

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