Farm sector rebounding but may need more aid, says Duvall

The farm economy, battered since 2018 by a trade war and a pandemic, is rallying, though it is too early to declare a return to prosperity, said the president of the largest U.S. farm organization on Thursday, reserving judgment on whether more stopgap federal aid will be needed.

Biden: Higher SNAP benefits for the rest of the year

As part of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits approved last month should be extended through the end of this year. Biden, announcing his American Rescue Plan, vowed his administration would "tackle the growing hunger crisis in America."

Significant gene edits for hogs ‘are on the horizon,’ say U.S. producers

At least five other nations are moving toward gene editing of hogs, which could put them miles ahead of the United States in producing disease-resistant and faster-growing hogs that cost less to grow, said a group speaking for American hog farmers on Thursday.

EPA plan would give small refiners more time to comply with RFS

Small oil refineries would have an additional six months to show they had complied with their obligations to mix corn ethanol into gasoline during 2019 under an EPA proposal published on Thursday.

Today’s quick hits, Jan. 15, 2020

Plaskett is impeachment manager: Democrat Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, who chairs a House Agriculture subcommittee, was named one of the House impeachment managers, although as a delegate from a U.S. territory, she is not allowed to vote on the House floor. (New York Times) …

After refusing to overturn election, five House ag panelists oppose impeachment

Although they defied President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, five Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday against impeaching Trump for inciting the deadly mob attack on the Capitol last week. They said that impeachment was divisive and hasty, while the new Agriculture chairman, Georgia Democrat David Scott, said speedy action was needed.

FDA cool to USDA push to regulate GE livestock

Commissioner Stephen Hahn cited the FDA's role in approving a genetically modified pig for food and biomedical use — "a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation" — at the same time that his agency has been coolly neutral on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's proposal to have the USDA take over regulation of GE livestock.

Today’s quick hits, Jan. 14, 2020

Biden chooses Power for USAID: President-elect Joe Biden selected Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama years, as his nominee for administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. (Biden Transition) Less habitat for spotted owl: The Trump …

Highest corn and soybean prices since commodity boom, says USDA

U.S. farmers, who harvested some of their largest corn and soybean crops ever last fall, will reap the highest season-average prices for the crops since the heady days of the commodity boom that ended in worldwide surpluses seven years ago, said the government on Tuesday. Commodity prices are on the rise due to tightening global supplies and large purchases by China, the first country to rebound economically from the pandemic.