Today’s quick hits, Feb. 25, 2019

Soda tax ‘major success’ in Berkeley (San Francisco Chronicle): Soda consumption in Berkeley, the first city in the nation to approve a tax on sugary beverages, fell by one-half during a three-year period, according to a study that was among the first to document a long-term change in habits from a voter-approved citywide levy.

Panelists named for 2020 Dietary Guidelines (USDA): The HHS and USDA appointed a 20-member panel of experts to advise on the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, updated every five years.

Farming sun instead of soil (Washington Post): Thanks to a state law that promotes renewable energy, Illinois farmers are planting solar panels on some of the most productive cropland in the country as a hedge against climate change and volatile commodity markets.

Glyphosate persists longer than expected in forest (Vancouver Sun): The weedkiller glyphosate typically breaks down within months, but a Canadian researcher found unexpected levels of the chemical in shoots and berries of plants that survived aerial application of the herbicide in a commercial forest.

Farmworker wages rise rapidly (USDA): Pay rates for farmworkers climbed three times faster than those of non-farm workers from 2014-18 when adjusted for inflation, the fastest increase in a four-year period in the past two decades and evidence of a tight labor supply.