One in seven rural Americans lived in poverty during 2020 pandemic – September 15, 2021

One in seven rural Americans lived in poverty during 2020 pandemic

Nearly 6 million people in rural America had incomes below the poverty line during the pandemic year of 2020, an increase of 315,000 from the preceding year, according to a Census Bureau estimate released on Tuesday. The annual Income and Poverty report indicated that one in seven rural residents lived in poverty, compared to the national average of one in nine.

Food prices rise as U.S. inflation moderates

Beef prices were 12 percent higher than a year ago, helping to drive overall food prices upward, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. The monthly Consumer Price Index report said food prices were 3.7 percent higher but the U.S. inflation rate slowed slightly in August.

Big drop in farm income forecast as pandemic aid ends

After reaching its highest level since 2013, U.S. net farm income would tumble by one-fifth next year, despite continued high crop and livestock revenue, said the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute on Tuesday. “Under current policies, farm income could drop again in 2022, as government payments decline and production expenses continue to rise,” the think tank said.

Today’s Quick Hits

Reconfigure farm subsidies: A UN report proposed the restructuring of $470 billion a year in farm supports worldwide to encourage sustainable farming and climate-smart practices. (Food and Agriculture Organization)

A hot and weedy future: With climate change, controlling weeds to ensure high corn yields will be more difficult than ever, especially during hot and dry weather in late summer, says research in the journal Global Change Biology. (University of Illinois)

Wildfires gain altitude: The warming climate is allowing wildfires to spread to higher elevations that previously were too damp to burn, exposing thousands of additional acres to fire risk. (Los Angeles Times)

Vilsack at G20 meeting: At this week’s G20 agriculture ministers meeting in Italy, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will call for joint action on climate, food security and agricultural innovation as well as closer integration through trade. (Ag Insider)

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