Today’s quick hits, May 24, 2023

A reprieve from the Big Melt?: California’s historic snowmelt is still jeopardizing farmland in the Central Valley as Tulare Lake refills, but state officials say the flooding may turn out to be less catastrophic than previously feared (SJV Water)

Delay ag-funding vote: The House Appropriations Committee postponed indefinitely a vote on four fiscal 2024 government funding bills, including USDA-FDA funding, to give House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “maximum flexibility” in debt limit negotiations. (House Appropriations)

EPA appeals WOTUS injunction: The EPA asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to overturn a district-court injunction against implementation in Texas and Idaho of the Biden administration’s “waters of the United States” rule on wetlands protections. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)

‘Broken promise’ case dismissed: A judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissed a class-action lawsuit that contended the government was obliged to provide debt relief to farmers of color, although Congress repealed the $4 billion program. (Capital B)

Sheep 4.96, New Zealanders 1: For the first time since the 1850s, there are fewer than five sheep per person in New Zealand but the national flock remains a sizable 25.3 million head, according to the new agricultural census. (Radio New Zealand)