Today’s quick hits, Feb. 1, 2019

‘Fake meat’ is beef group’s top concern (NCBA): The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, an industry lobby, has released its 2019 policy priorities, and the labeling of plant-based meat substitutes tops the group’s list.

Investors pressure fast food on climate (Impact Alpha): More than 80 investors, representing $6.5 trillion in assets, sent letters to Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International (owners of Burger King), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Wendy’s Co., and Yum! Brands setting a March deadline for the companies to come up with plans for managing climate risks in their supply chains.

Drought threatens Navajo flocks (Los Angeles Times): A brutal drought in the U.S. Southwest is hitting the Navajo Nation especially hard and threatening a pastoral way of life; over the centuries, sheep have provided meat, milk, and wool to Navajos, who are taught that “sheep is life.”

Relief checks are in the mail (NCDACS): State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says two batches of hurricane relief checks, drawn from a $240-million agricultural disaster fund, are being mailed this week to North Carolina growers, who lost an estimated $1.2 billion in crops and livestock last fall to Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael.

Bigger seeds, more food? ( Scientists at the University of Texas have found a way, using a technique called RNA silencing, to get some plants to produce seeds that are up to 30 percent larger than usual, a discovery that could have implications for crops including canola and soybeans.

Slow pay raise for Garden State farmworkers (Press of Atlantic City): Although legislators voted to make New Jersey the fourth state with a minimum wage of $15 an hour, to be phased in over the next five years, pay for farmworkers will peak at just $12.50 in 2024, at which time a review will decide whether to proceed further.

Court nixes health warnings on soda ads (AP): The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a San Francisco law requiring health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugary drinks violates the free-speech rights of beverage makers and retailers.