Today’s quick hits, July 15, 2019

USDA to pay $100 million in dairy supports (USDA): Nearly 10,000 dairy farmers have enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage subsidy since signup began June 17 and the USDA estimates it will distribute $100 million in payments to producers.

Farmers as organic detectives (Minneapolis Star Tribune): The USDA has 40 people to oversee organic agriculture; an informal web of farmers and advocates provide tips of where to look for cheating among importers.

Bill would transfer H-2A to USDA (Crawford): The Labor Department would cede control to USDA of the H-2A agricultural guestworker program under a bill filed by Rep. Rick Crawford that also would allow employers to offer lower wages than now required.

End of an era for restaurants (Washington Post): There are too many restaurants to be supported by a dwindling number of middle class patrons so a shake-up is coming; “austerity breeds creativity,” writes food journalist Kevin Alexander.

Hemp needs regulatory framework (DTN/Progressive Farmer): The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture urged the FDA to create as quickly as possible “a clear regulatory framework for hemp products.”