Vilsack: Stronger rules on the way for fair play in livestock marketing – June 14, 2021

Vilsack: Stronger rules on the way for fair play in livestock marketing

The USDA will propose three rules to give cattle, hog and poultry producers more leverage in dealing with meat processors in an increasingly concentrated industry, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The initiatives would make it easier for a producer to prove unfair treatment by a processor and would write a new regulation on use of so-called tournament systems by processors to determine pay for poultry farmers.

Rethinking wildfires at the start of a potentially devastating fire season

California experienced more wildfires last year than any previous year on record, but the severe drought currently strangling nearly three-quarters of the American West threatens to make the 2021 fire season even worse. And while many state and federal agencies are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the further loss of life and property — including prescribed burns, thinning and the deployment of the largest firefighting force in California’s history — a new book questions the efficacy of these increasingly costly measures.

Judge: Suit by white farmers might end debt-relief plan for minorities

A dozen white farmers “have established a strong likelihood” that a loan forgiveness program for minority farmers is unconstitutional, said the federal judge hearing the lawsuit in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Today’s Quick Hits

$1 billion for disasters: Beginning on Tuesday, farmers will receive more than $1 billion in disaster payments, from the Quality Loss Adjustment Program and the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, for losses to catastrophic weather in 2018 and 2019. (USDA)

Women farm operators: Some 51 percent of farming operations reported at least one woman operator in 2019; they were the principal operator on 14 percent of farms and “secondary operator” on 37 percent. (Economic Research Service)

Bivalves bounce back: The oyster industry is headed for a summertime boom, thanks to a reopening of restaurants, robust sales for home delivery and conservation programs. (New York Times)

Elder as staff chief: Fitzhugh Elder will begin work on July 6 as director of Republican staff members working for the Senate Agriculture Committee, succeeding Martha Scott Poindexter. (Senate Ag)

Going roadless in Tongass: The Biden administration said it would repeal or replace an October 2020 rule that allows roads and other development in more than half of the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. (Washington Post)

On The Calendar

President Biden attends a NATO summit and holds a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brussels.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on proposed USDA budget for fiscal 2022, 10 a.m. ET, 124 Dirksen.
House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Examining opportunities for growth and investment in rural America,” 11 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
President Biden leads a delegation at the U.S.-EU summit, Brussels. “The leaders will discuss a common agenda to ensure global health security, stimulate global economic recovery, tackle climate change, enhance digital and trade cooperation, strengthen democracy, and address mutual foreign policy concerns,” said the White House.
The National WIC Association holds WIC annual conference online, through Thursday.

House Agriculture Committee hearing, “1890 Land Grant Institutions: Investing for agricultural resiliency, equity and global impact,” 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on proposed fiscal 2022 budget for the Interior Department, 10 a.m. ET, 124 Dirksen.
House Small Business subcommittee hearing, “Supporting small entities through investment in the national infrastructure: Broadband,” 10 a.m. ET, 2360 Rayburn.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is lead witness at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal 2022, 10 a.m. ET, 215 Dirksen.
President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a summit meeting, Geneva. Topics will include cybersecurity and ransomware attacks such as the takeover of JBS’s computer network this month.
USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, noon ET.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is lead witness at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Biden’s proposed fiscal 2022 budget, 10 a.m. ET, 1100 Longworth.

Juneteenth, celebration of the end of slavery, based on the date in 1865 when news of Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas. Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980. Almost all states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or with a ceremonial observance.

The summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky, marks the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. This year the solstice is June 20, but the date varies year to year because of the difference between the time needed for the earth to orbit the sun and the Gregorian calendar, which divides the year into 365 days with a leap year every fourth year. “[T]he date also changes because of other influences, such as the gravitational pull from the Moon and planets, as well as the slight wobble in Earth’s rotation.” says the Old Farmers Almanac.

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