Today’s quick hits, July 10, 2018

Starbucks goes strawless (CNN): The coffee giant announced it will eliminate plastic straws from its stores by 2020, which should keep more than a billion straws out of waste streams each year.

California’s dairy woes (Omaha World-Herald): The country’s No. 1 dairy state stands to lose from the trade battle among the U.S., Mexico, and China. Central Valley dairy farmers — many of whom voted for President Trump — asked the president to hold off on trade escalation, to no avail.

Challenging fast food’s labor practices (Washington Post): Eleven state attorneys general are looking into so-called “no poaching” agreements, which are commonly used by fast-food chains. Some labor advocates and economists say the practice drags down wages for workers.

Drought deepens in the West (Northwest News Network): Drought is affecting some 68 percent of wheat- and cattle-growing areas of Oregon, one of the driest states in the West. Drought also currently covers 67 percent of Colorado and all of Arizona.

Billions and billions served (CIP): Potatoes are the third-most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat; total global production tops 300 million tonnes a year.

Soil-to-sanctuary in Baltimore (Civil Eats): The Black Church Food Security Network links residents of the Baltimore metropolitan area to farmers in the rural South, with the goal of a sustainable, community-centered food system that challenges what activists call “food apartheid.”

Ag worker vote in July (Portside): Speaker Paul Ryan promises a House vote before the end of the month on creating a reliable agricultural guestworker program, says Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington State. The vehicle is likely to be the punitive bill sponsored by Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte for a new, year-round H-2C visa.

Trump tariffs in Missouri (Reuters): Winners and losers in President Trump’s trade war live side by side in the southeastern “bootheel” of Missouri, where tariffs on imported steel and aluminum helped revive the local aluminum plant but where farmers worry if there will be overseas buyers for their soybeans and cotton.

Conscious carnivores (The New Food Economy): As our eating habits become more closely scrutinized for their ethical and environmental effects, meat has become “the raw nerve in the heated national conversation about the impact of our food choices.”

More complaints of herbicide drift (Iowa State Extension): Significantly more complaints of damage from agricultural herbicides were reported in Iowa through July 2, up nearly 50 percent compared to the same point in 2017.