Former education secretary joins calls for school food flexibility – August 18, 2020

Former education secretary joins calls for school food flexibility

The Trump administration should immediately extend two waivers that allow schools during the coronavirus pandemic to serve meals at no charge to students, whether in the cafeteria, the classroom, or as grab-and-go meals at the curbside, said former education secretary Arne Duncan on Monday.



Few states release data about Covid-19 in the food system

Over the past six months, Covid-19 has spread rapidly through the workforces of farms, food processing facilities, and meatpacking plants in nearly every state, infecting tens of thousands. Yet determining the exact number of workers who have contracted or died from the virus is virtually impossible, because few states are publicly reporting case and death data in the food and farm sectors.


Four months after ‘Trump postcard,’ the Trump food box letter

Four dozen House Democrats warned the USDA against using its food box donation program “to distribute a self-promoting letter from the president” ahead of the Nov. 3 election, criticizing the idea as a political use of federal resources.


Coronavirus payments leap by $2 billion in one week

In its largest payout since the program began, the USDA sent $2 billion in coronavirus aid to farmers and ranchers last week, most of it going to producers who had received a prorated payment earlier this summer.



Minneapolis Grain Exchange is sold: The 139-year-old Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the last independent grain exchange in the country, is being purchased by Miami International Holdings, an options exchange operator, which plans to add new futures products to the MGEX. (Reuters)

Utah mink have Covid-19: Mink at two farms in Utah have tested positive for Covid-19 — the first confirmed cases in the United States, said the USDA. There is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the coronavirus to humans. (APHIS)


USDA to survey Iowa damage: Because of last week’s derecho, which affected millions of acres of crops in Iowa, the USDA said it would survey how many acres of corn and soybeans will be harvested this fall in the state. If the new data justifies changes in the crop report, it said, they will appear in September. (USDA)


Judges say no to dicamba hearing: The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a request from three chemical companies for a rehearing of its decision voiding EPA approval of the herbicide dicamba. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)


Call to update fertilizer safety rules: The Labor Department should update its safety rules to reduce the risk of explosions of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, as occurred in West, Texas, in 2013, and in Beirut on Aug. 4, said the chair and two members of the House Education and Labor Committee. (House Education)

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