Today’s quick hits, May 24, 2018

Trees of tomorrow (Grist): Orchard owners in California, the top state for U.S. tree crops, are taking climate forecasts — drier and hotter — into consideration when they plant trees that will bear fruit for the next 25 years.

Marathon wants biofuel waiver (Reuters): The second-largest U.S. oil refiner has joined the parade of companies asking the EPA for a “hardship” waiver to exempt one of its refineries from complying with the U.S. biofuel mandate, according to two sources.

Squawking over organic livestock (Missouri Attorney General): In the ongoing lawsuit by the Organic Trade Association over the USDA’s withdrawal of organic livestock regulations, Missouri led 15 states in a “friend of the court” brief supporting the USDA.

Drought hits Texas cotton (US Farm Report): Persistently dry weather darkens the outlook for the cotton crop in the state, which is the No. 1 grower. Conditions are especially dire in West Texas, which is in “extreme drought.”

More climate change, less filling (New York Times): A new study with potentially huge health implications reports that rice exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide contains lower amounts of several important nutrients.

Farm bill vote and sustainable ag (Civil Eats): Sustainable food advocates celebrated the collapse of the House farm bill, but plans for a re-vote in late June could mean the bill will change little in the weeks ahead.

Grain traders fined (Reuters): Brazil has fined top grain traders, including Cargill and Bunge, $29 million for buying grain that was grown on illegally deforested land in the country.

Kroger makes online buy (Wall Street Journal): The grocery giant bought Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal-kit company, part of a growing trend in the industry toward increased online sales.