Today’s quick hits, April 13, 2021

TEFAP fresh produce: The USDA said it plans to use pandemic relief funds to buy 10- to 12-pound boxes of fresh produce for distribution to food banks through The Emergency Food Assistance Program. “USDA is still evaluating whether or not the fresh produce box will be a long-term item offered through TEFAP,” said a spokesperson. (FERN’s Ag Insider)

Small CFAP payments: The USDA disbursed $60 million to farmers and ranchers last week, the first week that pandemic relief payments were available under the Biden administration, according to USDA data. (FERN’s Ag Insider)

Why so sour?: “There seems little reason to have an overall defensive stance,” a frequent attitude by farmers, given their high regard among Americans, said a Purdue economist in a blog. (Jayson Lusk)

Cuba rice slump: Rice production in Cuba is forecast to be 3 percent smaller than last year and 15 percent below average this year due to the pandemic, which disrupted farm supplies, and excessive rainfall during the planting season. (USDA)

Booze, the next frontier: Higher revenue from value-added products such as wine or apple cider make it easier for farmers to practice regenerative agriculture, which adds cachet to the products. (Modern Farmer)