Today’s quick hits, December 4, 2018

Farm bill passage delayed to next week (FERN’s Ag Insider): The House delayed all votes on legislation, including the 2018 farm bill, until next week, due to the funeral for former president George H.W. Bush, said a Senate staff worker.

Wyoming won’t challenge ag-gag reversal (WyoFile): The deadline has passed for Wyoming to appeal a judge’s decision to overturn its ag-gag law, ending years of litigation over the controversial law.

Saying goodbye to the checkout line (Wall Street Journal): Amazon is testing cashier-less checkout technology, which some speculate could be rolled out at Whole Foods stores.

Virginia farmer to run USDA conservation agency (USDA): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Matt Lohr, a Virginia farmer and former state agriculture commissioner, as chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which runs USDA’s land stewardship programs.

U.S. sides with California on eggs (New Food Economy): The Justice Department advised the Supreme Court against hearing a case filed by 12 states trying to overturn California’s ethical farming law. The law bars sale of eggs produced outside the state if they don’t meet California’s animal welfare standards.

Smallest wheat crop in a decade Down Under (Reuters): Australia’s wheat crop will be the smallest in a decade due to drought, jeopardizing wheat sales from the world’s fourth-largest exporter.

Green light for ‘gene drive’ research (Washington Post): Language approved by a UN biodiversity conference allows scientists to continue their work on so-called gene drives that push modified genes through a population. The approach might be used to combat diseases such as malaria spread by mosquitos.