Time for a deal with China, say farm-state senators

Half a dozen farm-state senators urged Trump trade officials on Thursday to speedily resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war that is compounding hard times on the farm. Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts brushed aside assurances of a rosy future when trade deals are completed. “Some farmers aren’t going to make it,” he said.

USDA announces Kansas City region as new home of NIFA and ERS

In a highly anticipated announcement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday that the Kansas City region would be the new home of the agency’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Economic Research Service.

‘Kids eat local’ bills may be part of child nutrition overhaul

Companion bills introduced in the House and Senate would make it easier for schools to buy locally produced foods to serve to their students, said sponsors on Thursday.

Today’s quick hits, June 14, 2019

Battle over bottled water (Desert Sun): Nestlé pumped 45 million gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest last year for its Arrowhead bottled water line, and now state officials are investigating whether the company has rights to that water. Tyson joins the fake-meat …

Perdue chooses new homes for two USDA research agencies

Ten months after he announced the initiative, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will meet with USDA employees privately Thursday and then announce to the public the new homes for two research agencies now sited in Washington.

Forest Service to scale back environmental reviews

In the name of greater efficiency, the U.S. Forest Service said on Wednesday that it would modernize its procedures for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act, the bedrock federal environmental protection law.

Today’s quick hits, June 13, 2019

Access to health care is a 2020 issue (BPC): In larger numbers than their urban neighbors, rural Americans say access to medical specialists is a problem in their communities, and three out of five rural voters would support a candidate in 2020 who prioritizes rural health care, according to a …

As soggy fields prevent planting, U.S. corn production set to drop 5 percent

U.S. farmers’ plans for a bin-busting corn harvest this year are being washed away by relentlessly rainy spring weather, said the USDA on Tuesday. It projected a corn crop that is 5 percent smaller than last year, foiling May predictions of the second-largest crop ever. In one month, the …

NIFA employees vote to unionize by large margin

In the face of a proposed relocation from their longtime base in the nation’s capital, research employees at the USDA overwhelmingly voted to unionize. Eligible workers at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Tuesday voted, 137 to 2, to join the American Federation of Government …