More grass, less meat (NPR): Any bid to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 would require that beef cattle are grazing on lusher pastures, that tropical forests are conserved rather than cut down, and that Americans are eating 50 percent less beef.
An epidemic of African swine fever in China? (Agriculture.com): Chinese officials and farmers gave conflicting accounts of the scope of the illness and its impact on China’s hog producers during a recent country tour by the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Former Florida ag chief to run waterfowl group (DU): Adam Putnam, who served five terms in Congress before he was elected Florida state agriculture commissioner, will become chief executive of Ducks Unlimited, which focuses on the conservation of waterfowl habitat, on April 1.
Palate persuasion, not confrontation (New York Times): The Good Food Institute, founded by an animal activist, “does everything from starting venture capital funds to making matches between investors and start-ups” in hopes that capitalism can lead consumers to try alternatives to meat.
Green New Dealers reach out to ag (Politico): A group affiliated with the Green New Deal movement spoke for an hour with an expert on agricultural emissions at UC-Davis, which could signal an effort to engage rural America in the initiative to mitigate climate change by remodeling the economy.
More hogs and cattle, fewer sheep (USDA): U.S. and Canadian ag agencies jointly announced that the binational inventory of hogs is up 1 percent from a year ago, to 88.6 million animals; that the cattle inventory is up slightly, to 105.9 million head; and that the sheep herd is down marginally, to 6.09 million head.
Farmland values down for fifth year (University of Nebraska): The average acre of Nebraska farmland was worth $2,650 early this year, down 3 percent from 2018 and a decline of about 20 percent from the peak of $3,315 in 2014, according to the Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey.
Coalition opposes cuts (AFBF): An array of farming, lending, marketing, and wildlife conservation groups signed a letter to key lawmakers to “strongly urge you to reject calls for additional cuts” in USDA programs, meaning the cuts proposed by the White House in its fiscal 2020 budget proposal.