Today’s quick hits, Aug. 27, 2020

U.S. to reward fertilizer innovation: The EPA and USDA announced the creation of two awards, one worth $10,000, for fertilizer innovations that maintain or improve crop yields while reducing impacts on the environment. Entries are due this fall, and winners will be announced in late 2021. (EPA)

More time to get SHIPP-shape: The USDA extended to Nov. 20 the deadline to enroll in the Soil Health and Income Protection Program, or SHIPP, which pays an annual rent to landowners who plant perennial cover on up to 50,000 acres in the Midwest’s “prairie pothole” region. (Farm Service Agency)

Too late for lobster?: While the EU agreement to remove an 8 percent tariff on imports of U.S. live lobsters puts the American shellfish on equal footing with Canadian lobsters, it does not assure recovery of EU market share amid a coronavirus-caused downturn in world trade, says analyst Jeffrey Schott. (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Mystery seed mailings continue: People in at least 11 countries have received unsolicited packages of seeds that appear, for the most part, to originate in China. Agricultural officials worry the seeds could introduce pests or plant diseases. (Food Safety News)

Harvesting ahead of hurricane: Although growers along the Gulf Coast have been trying to harvest as much of their rice, cotton, and soybean crops as possible before Hurricane Laura reaches land, in some cases, the crops are not yet mature and must be left in the field. (Delta Farm Press)

Lots of mail by House ag panelist: First term Rep. Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, spent more than one-fifth of his taxpayer-funded office budget for this year, $1.4 million, on mass mailings to constituents in January, February, and March. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)