Today’s quick hits, December 18, 2019

Chile market struggles (New York Times): Two decades of drought and a labor shortage are adversely affecting the harvest of Hatch chiles, a driver of New Mexico’s agricultural economy.

Voters want healthy soil (Union of Concerned Scientists): A majority of voters in five farm states say they would back a presidential candidate who supports healthy soil policies, according to a new poll.

Fallout from a creamery’s collapse (Washington Post): The closing of Trickling Springs Creamery has led to, among other effects, the excommunication of the company’s owners from their Pennsylvania Mennonite community.

Farmer-led hemp group is launched (Fence Post): An array of partners will create a new farmer-led trade group, the U.S. Hemp Growers Association, which will include the 300 members of the U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance.

Panel approves NBAF bill (Senate Agriculture): On a voice vote, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill affirming the mission of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which has been transferred to the USDA from the Homeland Security Department, to protect the U.S. food supply and the agricultural sector.