Committee clears Biden nominee Moffitt for vote in Senate
Jennifer Moffitt, who would give farmers more leverage through USDA rules in dealing with meat processors, is one step away — a favorable vote in the Senate — from becoming agriculture undersecretary for marketing.
Carbon credit market needs better standards – report
Several programs exist to pay farmers for storing soil carbon, but a lack of standards has so far held back the burgeoning farm carbon credit sector, says a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Lawsuit would overturn Trump-era rules on genetically engineered crops
The USDA “unconstitutionally delegated its own duties to protect farmers and the environment to GE crop developers” when it exempted most genetically engineered plants from pre-market reviews in 2020, said a coalition of farm, environment and consumer groups in a lawsuit filed on Monday.
Today’s Quick Hits
Expand disaster program: The House Agriculture Committee was scheduled to vote on Tuesday on H.R. 267, to include crop losses in 2020 in USDA’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, now limited to losses from natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. The bill would authorize USDA to spend up to $8.5 billion on disaster relief. (House Agriculture)
White House endorsement: The administration applauded increases in funding for USDA broadband and climate change programs in a statement that strongly supported House passage, possible as early as Tuesday, of H.R. 4502, which would fund the USDA and eight other federal departments. (White House)
Heat wave bakes fish: From Idaho to California, heat waves and drought are lowering water levels and raising water temperatures to the peril of salmon and other fish that are accustomed to cooler water for survival. (Associated Press)
Big dairies, immigrant workers: As Wisconsin shifts to fewer and larger dairy farms, immigrants make up 40 percent of the workforce and 90 percent are undocumented, says a farmworker advocacy group. (Guardian)
School food crunch: Food suppliers and school officials expect everything from canned fruit and corn dogs to beef patties and lunch trays will be in short supply when the new school year opens in a few weeks, due to the pandemic’s disruption of supply chains. (Wall Street Journal)
Grassroots funding available: Applications are due by Aug. 25 for $16.6 million in grants to local groups, colleges and tribes for activities that help socially disadvantaged farmers and veterans to own and operate successful farms. (USDA)