Today’s quick hits, June 6, 2024

High cost of free meals: In a 2022 referendum, Colorado voters approved free lunch and breakfast for all students, but with participation up more than 30 percent, the program could run out of money by the end of the 2025 school year. (Daily Yonder)

Cover crops earn their keep: Cover crops encourage rain to soak into fields and reduce runoff, said a report issued by California as it implements a law intended to protect groundwater resources. (University of California)

USDA buffers Colorado basin drought: Since 2017, the USDA has paid $6.1 billion to farmers in the Colorado River basin for drought losses and to install irrigation equipment, delaying what seems inevitable in a region that is becoming drier because of climate change. (Environmental Working Group)

Pig kidney setback: Less than two months after surgeons transplanted a genetically engineered pig kidney into a New Jersey woman, they removed the organ because of inadequate blood flow from her heart pump. (Wired)

Russian wheat crop declines: Agricultural consultancy Sovecon lowered its estimate of the Russian wheat crop to 80.7 million metric tons, down from 91.5 million tons last year, due to damage from frosts followed by hot, dry weather. (Reuters)