Today’s quick hits, March 9, 2022

Northeast dairy offers: Farmer cooperative Organic Valley offered to buy milk from 80 of the 130 small organic farms in the Northeast that are losing contracts with Danone and Maple Hill Creamery. (Organic Valley)

Rural broadband goals: USDA will aim to provide access to high-speed internet in “places that no one has dared to go before” when it awards $1.15 billion in grants and loans available in round three of its ReConnent Program, said Xochitl Torres Small, undersecretary for rural development. (House Agriculture)

Rice belt shift: With access to irrigation water becoming less predictable, rice farming in California may move southward into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, where growers have rights to water from the estuary. (Modern Farmer)

Mitigation, no ban: The EPA is poised to allow farm use of four neonicotinoid pesticides for 15 years, despite their adverse impact on pollinator populations, although mitigation rules are under consideration. (Guardian)

Farm loan updates: USDA updated its farm loan regulations to reflect changes made by the 2018 farm bill to increase loan and loan guarantee limits, allow larger loan guarantees for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, and provide additional benefits to farmers; most of the changes were self-enacting and already in force. (Federal Register)