Today’s quick hits, June 7, 2024

Wet spring reduces drought: Only 12 percent of the contiguous 48 states, mostly in the southern Plains and U.S. Southwest, was in drought at the start of this week, compared to nearly 33 percent at the beginning of the year. (Drought Monitor)

30 million ‘base’ acres: The farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee would make as many as 30 million more acres eligible for crop subsidies, said analysts at Texas A&M. By one estimate, USDA outlays would increase by $1 billion a year. (Southern Ag Today)

Battling an invader: The USDA announced a multipronged campaign to eliminate the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive insect that kills hardwood trees, in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina this year. (APHIS)

Bird flu death in Mexico: Despite having no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, a 59-year-old Mexican with underlying medical conditions was the first person in the world known to have died from the H5N2 avian flu virus. (World Health Organization)

Budgetary dissonance: The argument over how to offset $53 billion in crop subsidy and crop insurance spending in the House farm bill highlights how Congress tries “to force itself to reduce spending while also being unwilling to live by its own rules,” says an ag economist. (farmdoc daily)