Trump failed on trade and ethanol, says Democratic farm forum
Rural America, and farmers in particular, voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016 but have suffered rather than benefitted for it, said speakers on a “farmers and ranchers roundtable” organized by the Biden-Harris campaign. The forum, held 10 days ahead of the traditional fall campaign kickoff of Labor Day, criticized Trump for using agriculture as a pawn in the Sino-U.S. trade war and labeled him weak on ethanol.
Perdue violated anti-politicking law, says ethics complaint
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue solicited votes for President Trump in violation of the 1939 federal law that bars partisan activity by federal officials while on the job, said a complaint filed by a good-government group. The complaint cites Perdue’s comments at a produce packing shed in North Carolina, where Trump announced a $1-billion extension of the administration’s food-box giveaway program.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Foster Farms to clean Covid-hit plant: Foster Farms said it will comply with local health officials and temporarily close and “deep clean” a poultry plant where eight workers have died of Covid-19 and at least 392 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Los Angeles Times)
Americans turn to candy during pandemic: Sales of chocolate are up 5.5 percent during the pandemic, and overall sales of candy and chocolate are up 3.8 percent. (National Confectioners Association)
Small blueberry crop in Maine: This year’s wild blueberry crop in Maine could be a “disaster” — half of the record seen in 2014 — due to warm winters that limit the growing area. (BBC)
Planting a prairie in Kansas: In the Kansas City suburbs, Big Bull Creek Park is the site of the largest prairie restoration project in the metropolitan area, with plans to eventually return 500 acres to tall-grass prairie. (Harvest Public Media)
Kentucky to go it alone on hemp: Members of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association said they will form “a new state-focused organization” with a new name after a falling out with the national Hemp Industries Association. (Hemp Today)
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks to the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, held online, 12:30 p.m. ET. The meeting runs through Wednesday.
USDA releases annual Mushrooms report, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA issues weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of farmer confidence.
USDA updates farm income forecast for 2020, 11 a.m. ET. In an initial forecast in February, before the coronavirus pandemic, the USDA pegged income at $96.7 billion, the highest in seven years. Since then, the Trump administration announced up to $16 billion was available to producers to offset the impact of the pandemic. The FAPRI think tank says direct federal farm payments will be record-high this year. The USDA will hold a webinar to discuss the updated estimate at 1 p.m. ET.
UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.
USDA releases monthly update of agricultural trade data, 3 p.m. ET.
Labor Day. Now the symbolic end of summer for many Americans, Labor Day was designated a federal holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 to honor the contribution of American workers. The labor movement inspired local and statewide observances in the late 19th century. Creation of the “workingman’s holiday” can be be viewed as an attempt by Congress to repair ties with unionized workers following riots in Chicago during the Pullman strike; the government sent troops to Chicago to try to break this strike, says history.com. “On July 7, national guardsmen, after having been assaulted, fired into a mob, killing between four and 30 people and wounding many others,” says Britannica.com.