Today’s quick hits: June 4, 2024

Corn crop looks great: In its first rating of the year, the USDA said 75 percent of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition, 11 points higher at this point than for the 2023 crop; this year’s crop is projected to be the third largest on record. (USDA)

Biden, Sheinbaum pledge collaboration: During a telephone call, President Biden and Mexican president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum said they were committed to a strong and collaborative partnership; Mexico is the largest U.S. food and ag trading partner. (White House)

Senate push against child labor: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, hopes to include in the Senate version of the farm bill language to ban USDA contracts with meatpackers that violate child labor laws. The House Agriculture Committee watered down a similar proposal last month to a request for a GAO study. (Politico)

Crop damage in Russia: Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut said the Russian government might declare a nationwide emergency in order to open the way for insurance claims by farmers following frost damage to crops ranging from apples to wheat. (Reuters)

Grassland enrollment is open: Landowners have until June 28 to enroll in the Grassland Conservation Reserve, which pays an annual rent and offers cost-sharing assistance to preserve grazing lands from conversion to crops; 35 percent of the Conservation Reserve is grassland. (USDA)