Vilsack talks of ‘transformational change’ in strengthening U.S. food system – June 9 ,2021

Vilsack talks of ‘transformational change’ in strengthening U.S. food system

The Biden administration earmarked $4 billion on Tuesday to strengthen the U.S. food system, including an expansion of local and regional food processing capacity. Aiming to increase competition, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hoped to see “new entries” in the highly concentrated processing sector.

SNAP time limits didn’t boost employment — study

The 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults without children, enacted as part of welfare reform in 1996, failed to move people into jobs or increase their incomes after the Great Recession, said a USDA study released on Tuesday.

Arkansas court changes dicamba deadline

Soybean and cotton growers in Arkansas are free to spray the weed killer dicamba on their crops until June 30 under an order from the Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday. It was the latest turnabout in court for use of the herbicide, which has been embraced by farmers as a tool against invasive weeds but criticized as too likely to evaporate and land on non-target crops.

Today’s Quick Hits

Smithfield strike authorized: Union workers overwhelmingly voted to go on strike at a Smithfield Foods hog slaughter plant in Sioux Falls if a new contract is not reached; the plant produces 5 percent of U.S. pork. (Associated Press)

Pebble Mine roadblock: A company owned by Alaska Natives agreed to a conservation easement on 44,000 acres near Bristol Bay, preventing the construction of a key mining road to the proposed open-pit gold and copper Pebble Mine. (Washington Post)

Tighter food rules: Chemical additives to food would become subject to FDA approval rather than accepted as “generally regarded as safe” under legislation filed by House Appropriations chairwoman Rosa DeLauro. (DeLauro)

Beef cow liquidation?: If pasture and range conditions do not improve soon in the drought-hit West, “expect to see a much larger reduction in the beef cow herd this year,” said University of Missouri economist Scott Brown. (Farm Progress)

Vote on USDA counsel: The Senate Agriculture Committee will vote on the nomination of Janie Hipp to be USDA general counsel, its top lawyer, on Thursday. (Senate Agriculture)

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