Shoddy hog farm oversight (EWG): Documents obtained by the Environmental Working Group reveal lax state oversight of North Carolina’s hog farms; one region with 731 hog operations has only three inspectors.
Whole Foods splits with Instacart (Forbes): Amazon’s Whole Foods will end its partnership with Instacart, a food delivery service. More than 350 Instacart shoppers will lose their jobs.
Goodbye, Initiative 77 (Washington City Paper): A last-minute attempt to revive Washington, D.C.’s referendum to eliminate the tipped minimum wage was deemed moot due to a technicality.
Program to boost rural broadband (USDA): A USDA pilot program will offer $600 million in grants and low-interest loans to bring high-speed internet service to rural areas and towns with fewer than 20,000 residents that have either no or slow broadband access.
Durbin to sit on Senate ag panel (Senate Democrats): Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, No. 2 in Democratic leadership, will serve on the Agriculture Committee in 2019 and 2020, joining the panel’s eight returning Democrats.
Record soybean crop in Brazil (USDA): The country is headed for a record soybean harvest of 122 million tonnes, 1 percent larger than the mark set in 2017/18, thanks to the 13th straight year of larger plantings and to favorable weather ahead of the harvest that begins in January.