Today’s quick hits, May 26, 2021

Fewer rural Covid-19 cases: The number of new Covid-19 infections reported in rural America fell by 18 percent last week from the preceding week and are now down by 90 percent from the peak in mid-January. (Daily Yonder)

Foster Farms fined: California state regulators proposed one of its largest fines of the pandemic, $181,500, against poultry processor Foster Farms for failing to protect workers from Covid-19 at a plant in the Central Valley where at least four workers died of the disease. (Fresno Bee)

Prices tick upward: Grocery prices are forecast to rise by 2 percent this year due to higher prices for meat and fresh fruits, particularly citrus. The rise is higher than the previous forecast of 1.5 percent but well below the 3.5 percent gain in 2020.  (USDA)

Line speed squabble: A federal court decision to slow slaughter lines at hog plants will reduce processing capacity by 2.5 percent and reduce prices for hogs, says an industry group that wants the USDA to appeal the decision. (National Pork Producers Council)

West is tinder dry: With the wildfire season getting under way, vegetation in the West is so parched it “is primed to ignite” after the second-lowest rainfall ever in the month of April. (Associated Press)