Today’s quick hits, Aug. 11, 2020

Derecho rakes Corn Belt: Thunderstorms and winds of 75 to 100 mph swept across much of Iowa, causing significant damage to crops and buildings, said state climatologist Justin Glisan. Reported damage included flattened corn and soybean fields and mangled grain storage facilities. (Brownfield Ag News)

Call to delay new hemp regs: The USDA should delay implementing new rules for the production of industrial hemp, scheduled for Oct. 31, because of the coronavirus pandemic and allow growers to continue to operate under the 2014 farm bill’s authorization of pilot programs for hemp, said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. (Hemp Industry Daily)

USDA streamlines rule for emergency haying, grazing: Rather than requiring approval at the state and federal levels, the USDA said permission for emergency haying and livestock grazing on Conservation Reserve land will now be determined by the drought severity ratings in the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor. (Farm Service Agency)

Debut of ‘organic plus’ label: The Regenerative Organic Alliance said it was ready to begin certification of new brands that comply with “the highest standard for organic agriculture in the world” — USDA-certified organic production with additional criteria for soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. (ROA)

The robot as chicken butcher: Covid-19 is giving a big push to automation in the food chain, from Tyson Foods working on a robot to cut up chickens to White Castle experimenting with “Flippy,” a robot in control of the deep fryer. (Stateline)