Today’s quick hits, January 15, 2020

SNAP rule leaves states in the lurch (NBC): Thirty-two states and D.C. are scrambling to notify residents who are at risk of losing their SNAP benefits under the Trump administration’s new work requirements policy, which goes into effect April 1.

DOJ pushes public charge rule (The Hill): The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to allow it to move forward with a “public charge” rule that would restrict public benefits for immigrants.

Ethics expert faults USDA official’s actions (ProPublica): A senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Rebeckah Adcock, repeatedly exchanged notes with industry players to craft government policy when she was a lobbyist for a pesticide trade group, behavior an ethics expert said was highly inappropriate.

Hemp rules are too tough (Associated Press): USDA rules on industrial hemp are so stringent that many fields are likely to fail tests for THC content and have to be destroyed, say growers who want more time to harvest hemp.

The on/off switch for plant growth (UC-Riverside): If scientists can control the protein known as IRK, they could tell plants to put out roots and grow in inhospitable conditions, a potential boon for food production in a changing climate.

To slow climate change, create more parks (InsideClimate News): A UN Convention on Biological Diversity suggested that national parks, marine reserves, and other sanctuaries grow to cover one-third of the world by 2030 to limit climate change and protect species from extinction.