Near-record U.S. ag exports seen with China back as top customer
With expectations that the coronavirus will eventually recede, U.S. farm exports will catapult to a near-record $152 billion during the fiscal year that started on Oct. 1, said the USDA on Monday. China was forecast to import a record $27 billion in fiscal 2021, ending the agricultural estrangement of the trade war and regaining its rank as the top foreign market for American farm products.
A ‘hungry winter’ ahead, as food insecurity remains severe
Child hunger has dipped since the summer but still remains near record levels, according to a new analysis from The Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. With Thanksgiving around the corner, the findings point to enduring hardship and food insecurity, eight months after the first pandemic-related shutdowns began.
Study: Meat plants tied to 6-8 percent of early Covid-19 cases
Livestock processing plants “may act as transmission vectors” for spreading the coronavirus, said researchers who estimated the plants were associated with 6 to 8 percent of Covid-19 cases nationwide during the early months of the pandemic.
Biden names Kerry as climate envoy on national security team
Former secretary of state John Kerry pledged on Monday to treat climate change “as the national security threat it is” as the presidential envoy for climate in the Biden administration. “The climate crisis demands nothing less than all hands on deck,” said Kerry on social media soon after President-elect Biden said Kerry would be part of his national security team.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Hunger groups back Fudge for UDSA: Five dozen food banks, hunger relief and anti-poverty groups from across the country signed a letter to President-elect Biden in support of Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge for agriculture secretary, hailing her as a stalwart advocate of public nutrition programs and efforts to address the root causes of hunger. (Oregon Food Bank)
Highest food inflation since 2011: Persistently high meat prices, a consequence of coronavirus outbreaks in meatpacking plants, are pushing U.S. food prices up 3.5 percent, the largest annual increase since 4.8 percent in 2011. (Economic Research Service)
Enforce ethanol ruling, says coalition: Biofuels and ag trade groups filed a motion in a U.S. appeals court to force the EPA to carry out within six months a 2017 court decision that would require the agency to boost the ethanol mandate by 500 million gallons to make up for an improper reduction in 2016. (Renewable Fuels Association)
Oystermen struggle to stay afloat: Sales of oysters harvested in Massachusetts waters plunged by 50 percent this year because of coronavirus-related shutdowns of restaurants, the main outlet for the shellfish. “Some of us will make it, others of us won’t,” says one oysterman. (Boston Globe)
As world warms, what’s an alien species?: Scientists have documented the migration of countless species in response to climate change, which “will require require a transformation in the way we think about wildlife management and conservation” and what is native or alien in a habitat. (Yale Environment 360)