Boost U.S. wheat production to fill in for Ukraine
The Biden administration said it would put $500 million into farm supports, boosting U.S. wheat production by up to 18 percent and expanding production of food grains and edible oils in an effort to fill the gap created by warfare in Ukraine. “This funding is going to help ease rising food prices at home as well as abroad caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine,” said President Biden on Thursday.
In SNAP hearing on farm bill, lawmakers spar over food assistance
With farm bill reauthorization coming up next year, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Thursday focusing on SNAP, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the bill’s budget. But foreshadowing what could be a messy process, Democratic and Republican lawmakers staked out familiar ground and sparred over the food assistance program.
USDA pays $146 million in bird flu indemnities
As bird flu losses topped 35 million fowl, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the USDA has paid about $146 million in indemnities to poultry owners, with an additional $263 million available. “That’s about half of where we were in 2014-2015 with the last outbreak,” he said.
Today’s Quick Hits
Whistleblower warned FDA: Federal regulators were warned of irregularities at an infant formula plant in Michigan months before the facility was linked to bacterial illnesses, said House Appropriations chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, who said the FDA “reacted far too slowly” to the warning. (Politico)
Dire forecast: By the end of the century, extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts, and torrential rains, will double the risk that there will be climate-related failures of corn crops in at least three of the world’s six major corn-growing regions in the same year, say researchers. (NASA)
Governors seek E15 waiver: The governors of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin asked the EPA for a permanent waiver for the summertime sale of E15, which is now blocked in most of the country as a precaution against smog. (Gov. Reynolds)
Farmers donate to Ukraine: The National Farmers Union and an affiliate in six states donated $125,000 to the World Food Program to help with humanitarian and agricultural relief in Ukraine. (NFU)