Today’s quick hits, July 17, 2020

Say no to USDA ‘slush fund’: Congress will create “a massive agricultural-subsidy slush fund subject to the whims of the agriculture secretary” if it approves either of a pair of pending proposals, say two think tanks. One proposal would more than double the spending power of the USDA agency that dispenses farm supports, and the other would make processing plants eligible for USDA payments. (Heritage Foundation)

China’s big gap in trade deal: China bought about $9 billion worth of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products in the first half of this year, so it needs to spend an additional $27 billion in the final six months to meet its “phase one” target, according to estimates by two economists. (International Food Policy Research Institute)

Virginia adopts coronavirus work code: The state safety and health board adopted an emergency regulation that mandates workplace safeguards, such as physical distancing, protective gear, and additional sanitary measures, to reduce workers’ risk of coronavirus exposure. (Washington Post)

Firefighting camps on lockdown: Each wildfire season, thousands of California’s firefighters come from the state prison system, but this year, a dozen camps for the inmates are under quarantine because of the coronavirus. (Guardian)

Hog culling on the horizon: Pork processors have been working their way through a coronavirus-caused backlog of market hogs. Still, they may be overwhelmed in the fall, when hog farmers traditionally send more animals to market, raising the possibility that some hogs will have to be culled, say analysts. (HuffPost)