Egg prices spike as bird flu outbreaks reach two-month mark
Americans will not run out of eggs in the ongoing outbreak of bird flu, the worst since 2015, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Four percent of the U.S. layer flock has died in the two months since the first confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on Feb. 8.
EPA rejects 36 small-refiner exemptions from biofuel mandate
Facing a court-ordered deadline for action, the Environmental Protection Agency denied on Thursday 36 requests by small refiners for “hardship” exemptions from the U.S. ethanol mandate. Biofuel and farm groups lamented the decision “fails to remedy the economic harms” of reduced demand for corn ethanol.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Ag trade leaders wanted: Senate Agriculture Committee leaders asked President Biden to nominate candidates for chief agricultural negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and for agriculture undersecretary for trade — a request heard often on Capitol Hill. (Senate Agriculture)
House passes restaurant aid: On a 223-203 vote split along party lines, the Democratic-controlled House passed a bill providing $42 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and $13 billion for other hard-hit small businesses. (House Small Business)
Dispute over salmon survival: California state and federal officials are moving ahead with a plan to aid the endangered winter-run Chinook salmon by trucking the fish around Shasta Dam, but the Winnemem Wintu Tribe wants to develop a route for salmon to freely swim upstream past the dam. (Los Angeles Times)
Pesticide residues on produce: Strawberries, spinach and leafy greens “are again the top offenders” most likely among non-organic fresh produce to carry traces of pesticides, based on federal testing; in most cases residues were below legal limits. (Environmental Working Group)
New Equity Commission panel: The USDA invited applications for a 15-member Rural Community Economic Development subcommittee that would assist its Equity Commission in addressing historical discrimination and disparities in the agricultural sector. (USDA)