Today’s quick hits, Dec. 23, 2021

Thune mulls retirement: South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 2 in the Senate GOP leadership and a member of the Agriculture Committee, “is seriously considering retiring” in 2022 rather than running for a fourth term. (New York Times)

Sugar supply increase: Responding to high sugar prices, the USDA raised by 4 percent the allotment of sugar allowed on the domestic market from U.S. sources and Mexican exports. (USDA)

New price-fixing trial: After jurors failed to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared in a case against 10 poultry processing executives accused of conspiring to fix prices of chicken products. A new trial was set to begin Feb. 22. (Food Business News)

Branstad forms consultancy: Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, making use of his tenure as U.S. ambassador to China during the Trump era, has set up a consultancy to advise companies and investors on conducting business with China. (Associated Press)

Organic deadline extended: Farmers have until Feb. 4, instead of the original deadline of Jan. 7, to apply for cost-share assistance through the Organic and Transitional Assistance Education and Certification Program. (USDA)