Today’s quick hits, April 20, 2021

Civil rights ombudsman: The USDA should create a civil rights ombudsman among reforms to improve the performance of its Office of Civil Rights, such as devoting more resources to investigating complaints, said an issue brief by the Food Law and Policy Clinic. (Harvard Law School)

Drought or megadrought?: Drought covers California again, but some researchers believe the state is more than two decades into a megadrought and recovery will be more difficult because human-caused climate change is adding to its severity. (Los Angeles Times)

Climate gap widens: In two decades, the 13 percentage-point gap between Democrats and Republicans on belief in global warming has widened to 53 percentage points. (Grist)

Stable but trailing: The winter wheat crop, which accounts for the lion’s share of U.S. wheat production, is in the same condition as a week ago, but slightly more of the crop is rated as poor or very poor than a year ago. (USDA)

Cell-based meat for pets: A handful of startup companies are using cell-based meat in pet food, a large market now supplied by food-bearing animals; one uses cells from mice for cat food and cells from rabbits for dog food. (Modern Farmer)