Looking beneath the surface, USDA paper gauges pandemic’s impact
Global trade in food and agricultural products grew by 3.5 percent last year, according to the WTO, leading to descriptions that the sector was robust and resilient in the face of the worst pandemic in a century. However, a USDA working paper says the impact of the coronavirus was obscured by such factors as the de-escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war.
Appeals court vacates three last-minute RFS waivers
The federal appeals court that greatly restricted access to “hardship” exemptions from the U.S. ethanol mandate in 2020 granted an EPA request on Wednesday to cancel three exemptions issued on President Trump’s final day in office.
Today’s Quick Hits
Hunger rate increases: After large declines in March and April, the U.S. hunger rate edged upward in early May, to 8.7 percent overall and 11.3 percent for families with children, according to a Census Bureau survey that measures the impact of the pandemic. (Diane Schanzenbach)
Three in a row: Exporters reported a large corn sale to China for the third day in a row, raising the total for this week to 4.42 million tonnes, all of it new-crop corn for delivery in the marketing year that begins Sept. 1. (USDA)
NRCS director named: Terry Crosby, a career USDA employee, was appointed director of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Meryl Harrell was named deputy undersecretary for natural resources. (USDA)
Banks want more: Three major bank groups say the USDA, as part of debt relief for minority farmers, should pay them money beyond the amount owed on USDA-guaranteed loans, and they will be reluctant to lend money in the future if they don’t get it. (New York Times)
Prison-food conduit: At least 650 correctional institutions across the country run farming, food processing or landscaping operations that pay meager wages to inmates and frequently sell their goods to foodmakers. (The Counter)
A second look: The EPA asked the federal appeals court in San Francisco for permission to review and possibly revise its interim decision in 2020 to keep glyphosate on the market, citing new questions about the herbicide’s impact on endangered species. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)