Dairy farmers to get pandemic payments due to market volatility
In an expansion of its pandemic portfolio, the Biden administration said it would pay an estimated $350 million to dairy farmers to offset lower milk prices caused by market abnormalities during the second half of 2020. The payments will benefit farms with smaller herds the most.
USDA awards $26 million for higher-blend biofuel infrastructure
Projects in 23 states across the nation will receive a combined $26 million to install pumps, tanks, and other equipment for selling higher-blend biofuels, said the USDA on Thursday. The projects are expected to expand the availability of higher-blend fuels by 822 million gallons annually.
Gala reigns, Honeycrisp climbs on U.S. apple hit list
Gala, a relative newcomer, holds the No. 1 spot in U.S. apple production for the third year in a row, while Honeycrisp, described by one reviewer as “juicy and instantly refreshing,” moved up a notch to No. 3, said the U.S. Apple Association on Thursday.
Today’s Quick Hits
Sams to lead NPS: President Biden nominated Charles Sams, former director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, to be director of the National Park Service. He would be the first Native American to head the agency. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
New positioning for ethanol: After years of portraying itself as the clean alternative to petroleum, the ethanol industry now says that biofuels are a better choice for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector than the few electric cars now on the road. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
Family feud: Share prices for the WH Group, the owner of Smithfield Foods, fell 5 percent in one day following allegations by Wan Hongjian of fraud, tax evasion, and mismanagement by company chairman Wan Long, his father. (Shanghai Daily)
Less pork to China: U.S. pork exports will decline by 109 million pounds, or 1.5 percent, in 2022, primarily because China is rebuilding domestic production and partly because other exporters, including the EU, Canada, and Brazil, offer pork at lower prices than American producers. (USDA)
Drought worsens in Iowa: Some 55 percent of Iowa, the No. 1 corn state, is in drought, an increase of 2.5 percentage points in the past week. Overall, drought now affects 37 percent of all U.S. corn acreage. (Drought Monitor)