Equity Commission recommends ‘sweeping and generational change’ at USDA – February 23, 2024

Equity Commission recommends ‘sweeping and generational change’ at USDA

The Agriculture Department, whose programs range from crop subsidies to public nutrition, would reform its operations to assure fair treatment of everyone under the recommendations of an administration-appointed commission, delivered in a final report on Thursday. Co-chair Ertharin Cousin said the goal was “to ensure equity becomes part of the DNA as well as the culture of this great organization.”

EPA approves year-round E15 in Midwest beginning in 2025

Nearly two years after receiving a petition from eight governors, the Environmental Protection Agency approved on Thursday the year-round sale of higher-blend E15 gasoline in the Midwest, beginning in 2025. Corn growers and ethanol groups said temporary waivers will be needed for E15 again this summer, because otherwise sales will be banned in most of the country under air pollution laws.

Serious oversupply looms for renewable diesel

The boom in renewable diesel is driving U.S. production capacity far above the market for the fuel, said agricultural economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois on Thursday. “It’s going to be a very ugly 2024” for refiners, said Irwin during a webinar.


Guidance on genome-edited plants: The Food and Drug Administration issued a “guidance for industry” document that describes how companies can voluntarily engage with the agency to demonstrate the safety of their products before marketing food from genome-edited plants. (FDA)

Snow piles up in California: After a series of storms this month, the “snow drought” has essentially ended in the Sierra Nevada, where the snowpack is at 86 percent of normal for this time of year. (Los Angeles Times)

Winter wheat drought eases: Only 12 percent of winter wheat territory is affected by drought, a dramatic change from late February 2023, when 57 percent was in drought. (USDA)

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