Today’s quick hits, Dec. 3, 2018

More advanced biofuels in 2019 (EPA): While holding the corn ethanol mandate at 15 billion gallons, the Trump administration set a 2019 target of using 4.92 billion gallons of second-generation “advanced” biofuels, an increase of 63 million gallons, or 15 percent, from this year.

Big decline in monarchs (Quartz): A volunteer count of monarch butterflies in California found one-seventh as many, a total of 20,456 monarchs, compared to a November 2017 tally, says conservation group Xeres.

Big Hemp in the Central Valley (Sacramento Bee): Industrial hemp “is potentially a billion-dollar market” with the Central Valley of California as the world’s largest producer, says a leader of the newly formed California Hemp Association.

Ag is a required subject ( Next year, “Agriculture and Food” will become a compulsory unit for students in New South Wales and the professor who played a part in the decision hopes the rest of Australia follows suit.

Fracking water for farmers (Stateline): State officials in arid New Mexico are pushing oil companies to treat and recycle fracking wastewater for use in agriculture, factories, wildlife reserves, or even as drinking water.

Technology is not enough (InsideClimate News): Climate change is likely in the long run to outpace technological adaptations in agriculture even with the present pace of ag innovation, say the authors of the National Climate Assessment.