Today’s quick hits, March 4, 2020

New Mexico ends reduced-price school meals (Santa Fe New Mexican): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that eliminates the reduced-price category for school meals, meaning 12,500 students in the state will get lunch and breakfast for free.

MFP payments for crop insurance violators (HuffPost): At least two farmers convicted of crop insurance fraud in the past two years have received trade war payments from the USDA, although farmers convicted of felony fraud are supposed to lose their eligibility for federal farm supports.

Shifting meat habits (FMI): U.S. households are spending more on meat per year, although four out of five shoppers say they are eating smaller portions, which suggests that Americans are eating meat more often, says an analysis of consumer behavior.

Squabble over hemp costs (Associated Press): In a new disagreement over industrial hemp, South Dakota lawmakers estimated it would cost $250,000 to regulate the crop if it is legalized, while Gov. Kristi Noem said it would cost $3.5 million for more state workers, testing for THC levels, and law enforcement.

Suit says hydroponic is not organic (Center for Food Safety): A group of organic farmers and stakeholders sued the USDA to force it to change rules that allow hydroponic crops to be sold as organic even though they are grown without using soil.