Worst U.S. outbreak of bird flu in seven years fades in May
Nearly 38 million birds in domestic flocks have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) from coast to coast since early February, but USDA data suggest the threat is fading. With one day to go in May, losses for the month were on track to be the smallest of the year. A viral disease that spreads best in cold conditions, bird flu typically dissipates with the arrival of consistently warm weather.
SNAP outlays to surge by 18 percent this year — CBO
Federal spending on food stamps will rise by $24 billion this fiscal year, largely due to USDA’s recalculation of the cost of a nutritious diet, said the Congressional Budget Office in a budget outlook that makes projections about the state of the federal budget and economy through 2032. The 18 percent increase in outlays would boost the cost of SNAP to $159 billion.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Calf Canyon ‘sleeper’ fire: The largest wildfire in New Mexico history, the Calf Canyon fire, was caused by a sleeper fire, started by the Forest Service in January to destroy a burn pile, which smoldered throughout the winter before reigniting in April. (Forest Service)
Potato production could double: With additional research to boost yields, world production of the potato, the third-most important food crop globally, could double in the next decade, said FAO director general Qu Dongyu at the World Potato Congress. (FAO)
Warm water kills salmon: New Zealand King Salmon, the country’s largest producer of king salmon, said it will shut down some of its farms because warm sea water has caused mass die-offs. (Guardian)
Russia would allow exports: Russia is ready to work with Turkey to facilitate exports from the Black Sea region, including exports of Ukrainian grain. If Western sanctions were removed, Russia would export “significant volumes of fertilizers and agricultural products,” said the Kremlin. (Reuters)
USDA forest-market grants: The USDA announced $32 million in grants that would leverage $93 million from partners “to help tribes, local governments, and qualified nonprofit organizations develop and maintain forest markets critical to maintaining healthy, resilient, and productive forests.” (USDA)
ON THE CALENDAR
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock and Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh take part in a roundtable on farmers’ mental health, 2:30 p.m. ET, Mussella, Georgia.
The International Fertilizer Association holds annual conference, through Wednesday, Vienna.
USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces details of the USDA framework “to transform the nation’s food system,” 11:30 a.m. ET, Georgetown University. Vilsack was expected to provide new details on a $4 billion commitment made in June 2021 to strengthen supply chains and address structural challenges revealed by the pandemic. “The address will underscore USDA’s commitment under the Biden-Harris administration to increase competition, bolster access to healthy, affordable food, ensure growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar, and advance equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation,” said the USDA.
Farmers for Free Trade holds a virtual media discussion of the opportunities and challenges presented by the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework of 13 nations announced last week, noon ET. Speakers were to include Max Baucus, former U.S. ambassador to China, and Pat Roberts, former chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was to travel to Ohio to highlight administration efforts to transform the food system.