Today’s quick hits, Feb. 21, 2019

Swine disease spreads in China (Channel NewsAsia): The highly contagious African swine fever was confirmed for the first time in Shandong Province, a major livestock-producing region on the Yellow Sea. The day before, the disease was reported in Guangxi Province in southern China and in neighboring Vietnam.

Rising sea levels threaten farms (Civil Eats): As sea levels rise, farms along Chesapeake Bay suffer saltwater intrusion that reduces yields and releases nutrients that foul the bay. Now new research indicates that turning low-lying, salt-impacted land into marshes may help mitigate the problem.

California farmer sues school district (Los Angeles Times): The Claremont Unified School District ended field trips to James Riley’s produce farm because of what it called offensive remarks on his social media. In response, Riley sued the district for $10 million on grounds that it had violated his constitutional rights.

Wheat variety fights celiac disease (Washington State University): Scientists on four continents collaborated to create a genetically distinct wheat variety with built-in enzymes that break down the proteins that trigger the immune system’s response, such as nausea and cramps, when people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten.

Mint in space (KCUR): The International Space Station will be the testing ground for an experiment — can mint be grown in space? — concocted by four middle-school students in Kansas City.

USDA press chief moves to Trump campaign (MarketWatch): Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, has been hired by President Trump’s re-election committee as its communications director.