Today’s quick hits, July 24, 2019

USDA mum on prevent-plant totals (FERN’s Ag Insider): The USDA said it could not confirm reports on social media that a USDA actuary projects a prevented-planting total of 15-20 million acres this year, far above average.

E-grocery wars continue (Washington Post): Kroger is beefing up its online grocery ordering system to compete with Amazon, Walmart, and Target as more shoppers look to do their food ordering online.

Firefighter shortage (Los Angeles Times): The Interior Department is short of hundreds of firefighters as the wildfire season opens in California, a result of recruitment problems and the partial government shutdown last winter.

How about regenerative ag for breakfast? (Union of Concerned Scientists): The leading U.S. cereal makers would curb water pollution and combat climate change if they required their farmer-suppliers to follow practices such as planting cover crops, using more diverse crop rotations and making room for “prairie strips” on their land, says a UCS report.

Guest worker reform is vital (AFBF): The largest US farm group said the administration’s decision to expedite deportation of undocumented workers “should be coupled with an improved and more affordable H-2A guest worker program” so producers can be sure of a stable and legal labor force.