GOP farm bill puts SNAP savings into trade and horticulture programs

House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson would funnel $10 billion in food stamp cuts into an expansion of trade promotion and horticulture programs as part of the new farm bill, said Republican staff workers on Thursday. One of them called opponents of SNAP cuts “hunger weirdos” who “use poor people as props.” (No paywall)

USDA study shows cooking kills bird flu virus in meat

In tests conducted by USDA scientists, the H5N1 bird flu virus did not survive in hamburgers cooked to internal temperatures of 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. “These results validate that [Food Safety and Inspection Service] recommended cooking temperatures are sufficient to kill H5N1 in meat,” it said.

Today’s quick hits, May 17, 2024

Cultivated chicken sales: A high-end Singapore meat shop has begun retail sales — the first ever for cultivated meat — of Good Meat 3, a blend of 3 percent cultivated chicken and plant proteins, with a 4.25-ounce package priced at the equivalent of $5.35. (Good Meat) Deere revenue down: Deere …

Crop subsidy costs could surge 56 percent under House farm bill, say analysts

The farm bill drafted by House Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson could boost crop subsidy spending by $23 billion — 56 percent — above current levels and favor growers in the South over farmers in the North, according to analysts at two Midwestern universities. To offset the cost, they said, reductions may be needed in conservation, crop insurance, or nutrition programs.

Nebraska and Iowa again have top ag districts

The vast 3rd Congressional District of Nebraska and the 4th Congressional District of Iowa, separated by the Missouri River, are the top farm districts in America, based on the value of their crops and livestock, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.

Today’s quick hits, May 16, 2024

Food inflation stable: The inflation index for food was unchanged during April, and for the third month in a row, the annualized food inflation rate was 2.2 percent, said the Consumer Price Index report. (Department of Labor) H5N1 amplifies regulatory fractures: Long-standing divisions between …

Stabenow: SNAP dispute makes 2024 farm bill the hardest yet

Protracted disputes over SNAP funding are preventing progress on the new farm bill and endangering support for the legislation, said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Tuesday. The House Agriculture Committee was expected to vote next week on a Republican-written bill that would cut SNAP funding by $28 billion, despite Democratic opposition.

Appeals court upholds 2022 supplemental ethanol mandate

The EPA acted reasonably and within the law when it added a 250-million-gallon ethanol mandate to the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2022, said U.S. appellate judges in a 2-1 ruling on Tuesday. The supplement was intended by the EPA to make up for its mistake in lowering the 2016 RFS by too much.

Today’s quick hits, May 15, 2024

H5N1 in dairy cows: Bird flu has been reported in 46 dairy herds across nine states, including 13 herds in Texas and a dozen in Michigan. (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) USDA water, electric projects: The USDA announced $671 million in loans and grants for 47 projects in 23 states …

Now a ‘maturing sector,’ organic food sales near $64 billion a year

Consumers loyally stuck with organic food despite inflation in 2023, and sales rose by a steady 3.5 percent, nearly the same as the grocery industry overall, said a report released by the Organic Trade Association on Tuesday. As recently as 2020, organic sales soared by 12.7 percent, but the pace slowed abruptly after the pandemic.

Ag bankers say farm income is down from 2023 in Central Plains

Farm income "retracted at a sharp pace" in the Central Plains ahead of the spring planting season, said the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, based on a quarterly survey of ag bankers. Sixty percent of the lenders — the highest percentage since early 2020 — said income was lower than a year earlier.

Today’s quick hits, May 14, 2024

Solar storm disrupts GPS farming: The solar storm over the weekend knocked some GPS systems offline and “caused many farmers to fully stop their planting operations” because they could not guarantee the accuracy of their precision agriculture equipment. (404 Media) Big global …

USDA and HHS allot $199 million to quash bird flu threat to cattle and humans

The Biden administration poured $199 million into the fight against the H5N1 bird flu virus, which was identified in cattle for the first time seven weeks ago, a worrisome step closer to people. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said dairy farmers are eligible for up to $28,000 in USDA aid in three months to help eradicate the virus from their herds, and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra announced new funding among public health agencies to "test, treat, prevent" the virus from spreading.

Still time to make a deal on farm bill, says Thompson

House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson said “my door remains open” for negotiations despite having drafted a farm bill package that crosses two red lines drawn by Democrats on his committee. Thompson released a 38-page summary of his package, the most detailed description yet, while …

Today’s quick hits, May 13, 2024

Lower row crop prices: Farm-gate prices for corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton would fall for the second year in a row, said USDA’s first projection of this year’s harvests; the soybean crop would be the second-largest ever. (USDA) Farm bill lobbying power: The agribusiness sector …

Seed bank leaders win $500,000 World Food Prize

Geoffrey Hawtin and Cary Fowler, founders of the “doomsday” seed bank in Norway, are this year’s winners of the $500,000 World Food Prize “for their longstanding contributions to seed conservation and crop biodiversity,” said the foundation overseeing the prize on Thursday. The scientists have been active for decades in efforts to preserve plant genetic resources, including an international plant treaty in 2001.

CDC urges states to give PPE to farmworkers as bird flu safeguard

States should open their stockpiles of personal protective equipment for distribution to farmworkers, with top priority for dairy farms where cows are infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus, said a Centers for Disease Control official. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department confirmed six additional cases of bird flu in cattle on Thursday, ending a 12-day pause in new cases.

Today’s quick hits, May 10, 2024

Slower rise in land values: Midwestern farmland values were 4 percent higher in the first quarter of 2024 than they were in the same period last year, the smallest year-over-year gain since fall 2020, said ag bankers in a quarterly survey. (Chicago Federal Reserve Bank) Lab meat ban: Alabama …

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