Today’s quick hits, June 7, 2018

Warmest May on record (NOAA): The average temperature during May in the 48 contiguous states was 65.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 5.2 degrees above average and the warmest May in 124 years of records.

Court dismisses COOL lawsuit (Consumer Federation of America): A U.S. District Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by cattle ranchers against the USDA’s country-of-origin labeling laws for beef but acknowledged that the absence of a stringent COOL policy presented a “fairly traceable” financial harm to ranchers.

Rebuilding wetlands in Illinois (Chicago): Ninety percent of the state’s wetlands have been converted to farmland or cities since European settlers arrived. Edge-of-the-field wetlands are one way to restore the land’s ability to control nutrient loss.

Smarter metrics needed (Nature): Using such basic yardsticks as bushels per acre to measure the complexities of alternative crops and production methods is inadequate, says the UN Environment Programme, which released a report offering a more comprehensive set of food metrics.

Faux fried chicken at KFC UK (Washington Post): With public health officials pressing for lower-calorie food options, KFC in Britain is experimenting with a vegetarian version of fried chicken.

Raptors vs. rodents (Revelator): An experiment in Southern California’s Ventura County found that hawks, kites, and owls did a better job than poisons of controlling pocket gophers and ground squirrels, whose burrows could weaken levees and lead to flooding.

Poultry pedigree (Civil Eats): Farmers, business owners, and food advocates, racing to make sure the term “heritage chicken” applies only to breeds with a genetic profile that predates industrial agriculture, will unveil a “Certified Heritage Poultry” seal in a few weeks.

Hidden treasures (Farm Journal): Arrowheads, meteorites, ancient stone tools, buttons, and coins are among the accidental time capsules awaiting discovery on farmland around the world.