USDA announces major expansion of emergency food networks – June 7, 2021

USDA announces major expansion of emergency food networks

The USDA announced on Friday that it will invest up to $1 billion to expand emergency food networks, bolstering the ability of food banks and local organizations to serve in-need communities. It was the first of several “Build Back Better” initiatives planned by the Biden administration to improve public nutrition.

Administration promises stronger protections for imperiled species

The Interior and Commerce departments said they will rescind or revise five Trump-era regulations that reduced federal protections for endangered and threatened species. The replacement rules would give the same protection to threatened species as endangered ones, and would instruct the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Services to disregard economic impacts when deciding whether a species should go on the endangered list.

Today’s Quick Hits

Light cybersecurity oversight: Federal oversight of cybersecurity in the U.S. food sector still relies on voluntary guidelines, despite years of warnings of potential vulnerability to hackers, such as the ransomware attack last week on JBS. (Politico)

Dierks to retire: After two decades as chief executive of the National Pork Producers Council and a total of 31 years with the NPPC, Neil Dierks announced he will retire by the end of the year. (NPPC)

Climate change and blueberries: Maine’s wild blueberry fields are warming more rapidly than the rest of the state, suggesting the fields may run short of water and result in smaller harvests, say scientists associated with the University of Maine. (Associated Press)

China needs grain trade: Despite its efforts to ramp up domestic production, China is unlikely to become self-sufficient in feed grains, so “they need to depend upon trade” to feed their livestock, said David MacLennan, Cargill chief executive. (Reuters)

Bridge repair slog: Repairs to the crippled I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River at Memphis could run into August, said the Tennessee transportation commissioner. (Commercial Appeal)

On The Calendar

USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Acting OMB director Shalanda Young is lead witness at the Senate Budget Committee hearing on President Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget proposal, 11 a.m. ET, 608 Dirksen.
Senate Banking subcommittee holds hearing online, “Rural transit: Opportunities and challenges for connecting communities,” 2:15 p.m. ET.
The International Grains Council holds the annual Grains Conference online, through Wednesday.

EPA administrator Michael Regan is lead witness at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the proposed fiscal 2022 budget for the agency, 10 a.m. ET, 138 Dirksen.
National Pork Producers Council holds World Pork Expo, through June 11 Friday, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines. This is the first time the Expo, ordinarily an annual show, has been held since 2018. It was cancelled in 2019 because of the epidemic of African swine fever in China and other Asian nations, and in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the proposed fiscal 2022 budget for the agency, 10 a.m. ET, 124 Dirksen.
USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET. Traders expect the USDA to lower its forecast of corn production in Brazil by 4.5 percent because of ongoing drought.
The Labor Department releases the monthly Consumer Price Index report, 8:30 a.m. ET.
Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City hosts a panel discussion of “Livestock traceability: Bringing value throughout the supply chain,” 12:30 a.m. ET.
Biotechnology Innovation Organization holds BIO Digital 2021 online, with a second round of sessions on June 14-18. WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will speak on June 15.

President Biden attends the G-7 summit, through Sunday, in Cornwall, England. “He will hold bilateral meetings with fellow G-7 leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” said the White House.

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