USDA inaugurates livestreaming of ‘secretary data briefings’ – March 31, 2022

USDA inaugurates livestreaming of ‘secretary data briefings’

With the arrival of the internet, the Agriculture Department made its vast library of reports and analyses available to the public, from the closely watched monthly crop estimates to assessments of the impact of the pandemic on meatpackers. The USDA went a step further on Wednesday by presenting the first live internet broadcast of one of the briefings USDA analysts give the agriculture secretary whenever a major report is published.

Bird flu in 23 states, from Wyoming to Massachusetts

Highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has killed more than 17 million birds in domestic flocks since early February, has been identified in five additional states spanning 2,000 miles, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.

Today’s Quick Hits

Second price-fixing mistrial: A U.S. district judge wants the top antitrust official at the Justice Department to explain why the government would put 10 poultry executives on trial for the third time after twice failing to win convictions on price-fixing charges. (Bloomberg Law)

Rural population growth: The rural population rose by about 117,000 people in 2021, and while that was less than half a percentage point, it was the largest annual increase in more than a decade, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data. (Daily Yonder)

Kansas ag pollution: Small towns in western Kansas are being forced to build expensive water treatment plants because of excessive levels of nitrate in their drinking water from farm and feedlot runoff. (Kansas News Service)

Meeting service members’ needs: The Defense Department should make the basic needs allowance, intended to help the lowest-paid members of the military buy food and other necessities, an “opt out” benefit, said the chairs of the House Armed Services and Agriculture committees in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. (House Armed Services)

Push to bring back COOL: The United States would revive country-of-origin labels on imported beef under a bill filed by Reps. Lance Gooden of Texas and Ro Khanna of California. Trade officials would be instructed to “determine a means” that is WTO-legal, the stumbling block to a previous version of the bill. (Gooden)

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