Today’s quick hits, July 25, 2018

Tall farms, tall costs (Mother Jones): Although vertical farms are an investor darling, they have huge energy costs that can outweigh their savings on space, water usage, and proximity to consumers.

Easing rules on antibiotics? (Bloomberg): The Trump administration, taking issue with WHO recommendations against using medically important antibiotics on livestock, is leading a working group in a different UN body to write rules that allow broader use of the drugs.

Interior ignored benefits (Washington Post): Senior Interior Department officials disregarded information that would have justified keeping national monuments at their current size while carrying out President Trump’s order to consider scaling back the federally protected areas.

Opposition to ag worker bill (The Hagstrom Report): The Western Growers Association and the California Farm Bureau oppose an agricultural guestworker bill backed by the chairmen of the House Agriculture and Judiciary committees, saying it “would enact E-Verify without providing adequate protections for existing farmworkers or properly ensuring a sufficient flow of future guestworkers.”

King ‘likely,’ not ‘safe’ (Sabato’s Crystal Ball): House Agriculture Committee member Steve King, a celebrity among conservatives, is listed as the “likely” winner against Democrat J.D. Scholten in this fall’s election in the northwestern Iowa district. The race was previously rated “safe Republican.”

Sorghum oil is RFS feedstock (Nebraska Rural Radio Association): The EPA approved sorghum oil as an eligible feedstock under the Renewable Fuel Standard, a step that is expected to provide a new market for a feed grain crop often overshadowed by corn.