Ethanol backers prod administration to ‘finish the job’
A week after the EPA denied 54 retroactive waivers from the ethanol mandate, farm and biofuel groups urged the Trump administration on Wednesday to take additional steps to assure ethanol’s role in the U.S. fuel supply. Their checklist included release of the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2021 and nationwide application of a court decision that greatly restricts RFS exemptions.
States are rolling back recent transparency measures in how they report meatpacking plant outbreaks
Several states introduced more rigorous public reporting of Covid-19 outbreaks and cases in the agriculture sector this summer after calls from advocates and the media for more transparency. But several of those efforts have been stalled, rolled back, or rely on outdated information, which public health experts and labor advocates say hinders communities’ and workers’ ability to curtail the spread of the virus.
Farmworkers on the front lines of coronavirus and wildfires
Few farmworkers in Oregon report getting tested for the coronavirus despite knowing infected people or being directly exposed to Covid-19, according to a survey of 200 workers across the state. And unprecedented wildfires only make things worse.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
‘Healthy checkout’ lines in Berkeley: Two dozen grocery stores in Berkeley, California, will be affected by a new city ordinance that bans junk food and unhealthy items from the checkout aisles — possibly the first “healthy checkout” legislation in the nation. (Mercury News)
Jump in rural coronavirus infections: Nearly half of U.S. rural counties have coronavirus new-infection rates that White House guidelines classify as out of control. Last week, new infections in rural America were up 30 percent overall. (Daily Yonder)
Pilgrim’s Pride cuts ties with Penn: Nearly four months after its chief executive was indicted on price-fixing charges, poultry processor Pilgrim’s Pride said CEO Jayson Penn “is no longer with the company” and that Fabio Sandri, who was named interim chief executive on June 15, has the job permanently. (Pilgrim’s Pride)
Vandals target dicamba regulator: In the past two months, vandals have damaged tractors and burned haystacks owned by Terry Fuller, chairman of the Arkansas State Plant Board, which has imposed some of the strictest rules in the nation on the use of the weedkiller dicamba. (NPR)
Farm broadcaster Samuelson to retire: After 60 years as a farm and business news broadcaster at Chicago radio station WGN, Orion Samuelson, a self-described “unknown cow milker from western Wisconsin,” will retire on Dec. 31. (RobertFeder.com)
Perdue not a ‘one-termer’: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he has “no plans to be a one-termer at this point in time” and would consider staying on at the USDA if President Trump is re-elected. (Brownfield Ag News)