Today’s quick hits, Dec. 2, 2020

Grocery spending remains high: Consumer spending at grocery stores, after spiking in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, “is still running about 15 percent higher” than usual, putting upward pressure on prices.  But food inflation should be back to its normal, modest level by late 2021, said Purdue economist Jayson Lusk at a Chicago Federal Reserve Bank conference. (FERN’s Ag Insider)

Scott gets nod for House Ag chair: The House Democratic Steering Committee chose Rep. David Scott of Georgia over Rep. Jim Costa of California on a 32-19 vote as its nominee for House Agriculture chairman in 2021; the Democratic caucus will vote on the recommendation on Thursday. (The Hill)

In rural hospitals, doctors treat friends: In the small hospitals of rural America, everyone knows everyone so doctors and nurses treat relatives and friends. (Associated Press)

Hemp insurance available in more states: Crop insurance for industrial hemp will expand to four states — Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada and Texas — and to additional counties in the 13 states already approved for coverage, said the USDA. (Risk Management Agency)

Amazon deforestation at 12-year high: Brazil’s space agency says deforestation in the Amazon exceeded 11,000 hectares in the year ending in July, a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year and the largest figure since 2008. (CNN)