Today’s quick hits, July 22, 2019

Foster-care threat for school lunch debt (CNN): A Pennsylvania school district sent hundreds of letters to parents demanding they pay school lunch debts or the matter could be turned over to the courts with the possible result “your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care.”

Solid win for Abe in Japan (Kyodo): The political coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a solid majority in elections for the upper house of parliament; the U.S. expects to speed up negotiations of a new trade agreement with Japan now that the campaign is over.

USDA ends world raisin report (USDA): The Foreign Agricultural Service discontinued its annual Raisins: World Markets and Trade report because U.S. production of raisin-type grapes is no longer tracked, “meaning FAS is no longer able to develop a comprehensive global (supply and demand) estimate for raisin.”

Maine farmers hope for hemp (Portland Press Herald): Plantings of industrial hemp will quadruple in Maine this year, to 2,706 acres, with growers hoping for high revenue from a plant used for its fiber and the popular cannabidiol oil.

A fish hook in plans for irrigation water (Los Angeles Times): Federal biologists concluded the Chinook salmon and other imperiled fish would suffer under a Trump administration plan to transfer more water to Central Valley farmers from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

Lawmakers form crop insurance caucus (Bustos): Two members of the House Agriculture Committee, Cheri Bustos, Illinois Democrat, and Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania Republican, lead the newly formed Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus, with plans to educate lawmakers about the taxpayer-supported program.