Today’s quick hits, March 12, 2020

More food conferences and events postponed (FERN’s Ag Insider): Several more food- and farm-related conferences and events were postponed or canceled as the coronavirus continues to spread, including an annual symposium hosted by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, a legislative conference presented by the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and an agriculture conference hosted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Delay SNAP rule for COVID-19 (Twitter): The USDA rule that will cut SNAP enrollment should be suspended until COVID-19 is contained, said Rep. Sanford Bishop, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of USDA funding.

Holding steady in the Corn Belt (farmdoc Daily): Corn may be modestly more profitable than soybeans in the Corn Belt this year, but not enough to alter nearly equal plantings of the two crops, said economist Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois.

Antibiotics reduce effectiveness of manure (Scientific American): For centuries, farmers have used manure to fertilize their fields, but researchers say that when the manure comes from cattle treated with antibiotics, the composition of soil bacteria and fungi is altered and less carbon is “fixed” into organic matter.

More trade aid, please (Reuters): With sales to China slow to materialize under the “phase one” trade agreement, dozens of farmers said in interviews that additional federal payments are vital to mitigate the impact of the trade war on their income.